Part 1: How I Got Here
The ground was first tilled in October, 1991.
That’s when my-then-future-ex-wife and I did a vacation exchange – our house on Maui for a home outside of Atlanta, GA. The occasion was our annual ‘Fall Tour’, something we tried to do almost every year by spending a couple of weeks in a deciduous climate, some place where the leaves changed color – which is not something we ever saw when we lived in Los Angeles or Hawaii, the two places where I had been living since graduating from college and leaving the east coast in 1973.
There were a couple of influences already starting to work on me: I’d been listening incessantly to a new Kenny Loggins CD, Leap of Faith (Spotify link), and reading a book by Harry Browne about How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World (Amazon). Those two things already had me thinking a Big Change was coming down the pike.
Do you remember the last verse of the last song on the Eagles’ album, “Hotel California”? It’s called The Last Resort, and the verse begins with:
We can leave it all behind
And sail to Lahaina
Like the missionaries did
So many years ago
They even brought a neon sign
Jesus is coming
Brought the white man’s burden down
Brought the white man’s reign
That’s the song that ends with the line “…call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye… Click here to refresh your memory…
I lived on the island of Maui for more than a dozen years, through the 1980s and part of the 1990s. I drove past that neon “Jesus is Coming” sign on Front Street in Lahaina a thousand times.
All of which came rushing to mind when I watched this video of surfers on the North Shore of Oahu catching the big waves. The footage is notable in part for the fact that it was shot with a drone, which provides a really breathtaking angle on Hawaii’s National Sport (FYI, the islands were a sovereign nation before the missionaries and pineapple and sugar growers decided to put an end to that…)
I enjoyed the few minutes it took to watch the whole thing – something I rarely do with online videos. Some of the footage in the first few minutes of the ‘barrel riding’ is spectacular: first the mist blasts out of the curl, then the surfer.