Forever Young on Kauai

To wake up on Kauai is to be happy.

If we could share what we have with the world, it would be a happier place. At the moment I am looking at a bank of Walking Iris, dappled with sunlight, brimming with joy and life’s perfume.  I walk though a screen door into a leaf-strewn courtyard and, standing tiptoe, on a hollow block, peer in to see the babies. The mother Thrush was in the nest and she gave me a look that said, “Can’t you knock?”  She and her mate work hard feeding these big mouth screamers.

Feeding my zoo is hard work, too. It’s a 24/7 operation. Hungry mouths-nine counting my own- must be fed.  It’s interesting that the eight others don’t seem to get it: I also indulge.  I’ve got the feeding end of it down to a science but convincing them I’ve got to eat is the hang up. Part of the morning routine is sharing. “See, guys,” crunch, sip, swallow, ”I eat, too….”

…A major distraction, within arm distance of where I’m working, a brilliant red cardinal is teetering on a leaf and tweeting. He wants a cracker.  If so he’s going to have get with the program and show up at the cracker station.

My husband, taught me to love the early morning hours. We were always up at 4AM, except on weekends, and I would be out in the fields at 6AM-horses have to be fed two hours before riding-and Bill would be behind his desk at five. But that schedule has shifted. No fields. No Bill. And the high cost of electricity has got me up and moving with first light. It’s beautiful then. Early morning light flatters my house.  Me, too.

The birds, roosters, too, have been singing and crowing for hours- I love them- but I wonder why. Dawn seems to have nothing to do with their early morning chatter. I think they’re just happy to be alive.

The first thing I do is get up. Stretch. Healthy animals always stretch when rising. Everybody stretches around here. For me, morning ablutions and bed making are a constant. Then a set up. All the animals’ bowls and pails and buckets are lined up where they belong. Spoons, measuring cups, oil and molasses for Ari’s mash. Warm in the winter, cold in the summer. My father taught me that trick.

Then it’s boots on tall and Boots and I are off to the races. My jungle jungles thickly abundant with cliffs and slides and slippery slopes. I carry my shillelagh and have several steep traverses where I’ve strung a rope to haul me up and ease me down. It’s an obstacle course. The most dangerous obstacle? Dodging Boots as she careens across my path.

If I get back, I’ll feed.  If I fall and break a leg, orders are to shoot me. I want to die with my boots on.

Waking up on Kauai is to be young. For a day.


4 Responses

  1. Bettejo, “Time Machine” and this article” Forever Young on Kaua’i,” are two of my favorites. You’ve always been a great writer however your last two articles with your positive heartfelt approach is something everyone should read and enjoy! great article once again. Kimo


    • It seems, Kimo, I’m still stuck with the religious issue. I’ll speak my mind on your blog. You ldet me do that. Coax good minds in in my column to the Garden Island. Love’you me


  2. OK boss, your call, I just think your last two articles columns are brilliant!. I’ve been busy helping my neighbor who is not doing well, I’m off to deliver Kimo’s famous chicken soup.


  3. I love this piece. It is the type of life I aspire too, to be self-reliant and free


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