Hootaw!!! What a way to start the next month of photos!!
I went to the post office today to pick up our mail, and just as I was leaving, I spotted a really cute elderly couple walking out…and she was wearing a fresh lei! Inside my heart leaped high with joy at the sight!
No shame, me. I walked up to her and asked if I could smell it… and she said, “Of course!” and I bent my head and drew in a deep breath of plumeria, tears coming to my eyes at the sight and scent of home.
The two of them were so cute; they asked me what kind of flowers they were, and I told them the purple ones were orchid and the yellow, plumeria. They told me that they’d bought it just before they boarded the plane from Honolulu to here. I thanked them and told them that I was born and raised there, and how much I miss the fragrances of home.
They were just getting into their pickup when I walked out of the building; he holding her car door open, the perfect gentleman. I then asked if it would be okay if I took a photo of the wahine’s lei, and she smiled broadly and said, “Absolutely!”
I’d just gotten a new phone yesterday and wasn’t even sure I knew how to take photos with it, but did manage to get a couple of photos of the lovely lei.
Then the husband asked me again where I was from, and began to tell me a story, of how, during the Korean War, he was in the Navy, and had the job of getting battleships out of their mothball status and ready for service, and that in all, he’d made seven trips across the Pacific Ocean during that time. It was fascinating to listen to him. I told him how during WWII my folks had watched the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and how, during my trips to California to visit my mother, I’d always see the Mothball Fleet in the Carquinez Strait.
What made this so special is that we used to have two lovely plumeria trees growing right outside my folks’ bedroom window. One was pink, and the other, yellow, and when they were blooming, their fragrance wafted in through the open windows.
So there we were, out in the Boring Post Office’s parking lot, sharing all kine stuff about Hawai’i and battleships and plumeria lei. As they got into their old blue pickup, I watched them drive away, and thanked ke Akua for allowing me to be there at that time and place, inhaling the fragrance of home and meeting those two wonderful people.
If I concentrate really hard, I can still smell the aroma of the lei, and my heart is happy.