Sunday nite I finished the first small sock for my friend; she was at church with me, so I could measure her foot as the knitting progressed (we have a casual church).Just as it was time to leave, I finished the sockie, and she wen hemo [take off] her husband’s old, cut-off one that she had been using and put on the new sockie. She was so happy! It fit perfect, and she told me that already her little toes were much more warm.
Monday nite I cast on for the next little sockie, cuz when the first one needs washing, then she will have have another one to wear. On this one, I reversed the colors of the first one. This one will be pau by tonite, and when I take over their weekly meal that I provide them, I’m going to take over the new sockie too… she has no idea that I’m making this one.
Knitting these little sockies and taking meals over once a week made me think plenny about what community is all about; usually it starts out with our immediate ‘ohana [family], and then begins to expand to include the neighbors, aunties and uncles and cousins, then gets even more big. (Of course, in Hawai‘i, almost everyone is a cousin of someone!) People’s lives entwined with one another like a lilikoi vine, bringing us more close, challenging us sometimes, but always giving us a kind of foundation that upholds us in our growing up years.
Growing up in Hawai‘i, my immediate community was everyone else on O‘ahu; how can we not be community when we alll live on an island out in da middle of the Pacific Ocean? But that community grew and expanded to include all of my calabash cousins on da other islands, all of us still isolated by the big blue ocean. We shared our love for the ‘āina [land] with a passion I have never seen anywhere else.
Then I had to move to da mainland. Before da internet, I was a lost local girl, lost in the new ways of the mainland, lost without the soft sounds of da Hawaiian language all around me, lost without the faces of many cultures around me. Then, thanks to www.alohaworld.com, I was able to connect with other locals just as lost as me, and suddenly, I was not so lost anymore. I was connected through cyberspace with my new ‘ohana!
Today, my community includes other ex-patriots scattered all over the world. It also includes my church ‘ohana, which leads me right back to the small kine cast sock. As I was knitting the two socks for my friend, who before this I didn’t know real well at all, I thought of what community means. Community is people from back home, people with whom I share a spiritual bond, and my immediate ‘ohana. All of us knitted together, stitch by stitch, loving each other through the good times and the bad, through the tears and the smiles and giving kokua [help] to those ones who need it. These little sockies are just one small kine representation of community an what it means in my life.
Mālama pono, Cheryl… Keep your toes warm!