Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Dec 25, 2010, adds Christmas Day: Ho'okipa Surf, Stocking-stuffer & More

Merry Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka!

Half way through holiday season already?  Merry Christmas!  Mele Kalikimaka!

FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)

Merry Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka!

Half way through holiday season already?  Merry Christmas!  Mele Kalikimaka!

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 12 - Hard to believe that we are half way through the holiday season already. For us, we kicked off Christmas with a Maui Pops Orchestra holiday concert last Sunday.  It culminated in a marvelous performance of Handel's "Messiah."  The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra's choir joined the Maui Pops musicians for that number, and some other classical music holiday favorites.

Back home, we are also getting into the holiday swing of things.  Elizabeth has been whipping up a storm of sewing creations which she will use as gifts during her trip to visit her kids in Arizona (she leaves Dec 15, and returns on Christmas day).  You can see in the two left shots two of the latest home decorations she has made... a little Santa and a cute stocking which is now hanging on our tree (an artificial one; we believe in planting trees, not cutting them frivolously). 

I am staying home.  Have had more than enough travel this year, despite my New Year's resolution to "travel less."  Must try harder (staying home) next year. :-)

The slopes of the hills around the Rainbow Shower is also taking on a reddish glow.  It's what I now call the Pele's grass (two middle right shots, taken on two different days and different hillsides).  The biggest "Christmas green" (color) comes in the form of giant Ape leaves.  You can see Elizabeth holding one of them on our lanai, after I had brought it up from the Royal Palm Trail at the bottom of the gulch.

Last night, we attended a performance of "Los Lobos" (The Wolves), a well known Hispanic music group from California and Texas (six musicians).  That's where the two above shots were taken.  "Los Lobos" were very loud and sounded more like an aged rock band.  Probably trying to pander to a younger crowd that buys CDs and iPod music.  Elizabeth recognized only about two songs that could qualify as Tex-Mex or Hispanic music.  We left early.  The Wolves were overrated.  But Elizabeth did like an older CD which I bought for her at the show.

Anyway, Merry Christmas!  Mele Kalikimaka!  Enjoy your holiday season...

Beautification Phase in Gulch

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 12 - To cheer up those of you who are right now digging our from or trudging through snow and ice of the blizzards in the Midwest and Europe, I invite you to join me for a sunrise walk in the gulch.  No, don't get a wrong idea.  I am not a morning person.  But the Rainbow Shower gulch is so deep that the sun does not reach down there until after 8AM. 

During the walk, I contemplated what we achieved down there in the past year. And I realized that 2010 was the beautification phase at the Rainbow Shower.  After clearing the jungle and cutting the roads and trails through it in 2009, this year, Mother Nature responded with her green splendor.  We just helped it along, little by little, day by day...  by planting colorful flowers, trees, shrubs and fruit trees here and there.  It was like placing ornaments on an already beautiful Christmas tree. 

Yesterday, for example, I planted several dozen Impatiens and some other flowers.  That included transplanting out Kava plant, a gift from a neighbor, which had mushroomed into a large shrub over the last year (see rightmost picture in first row).  Kava has been widely used for ceremonial and medicinal purposes throughout Polynesia (see All About Kava).  The natives dried its root, beat it into powder (or grind it, I suppose, in modern times), added water to it, and drank it like tea during special ceremonies. 

We haven't tried it yet, but plan to do so once the newly transplanted Kava take root (pun intended). :-) Maybe it will become a Hawaiian Kahuna embellishment to the Inca-style shamanic ceremonies.

Graduation Impatiens

Finally, as I was doing some gravel road repair work in the gulch, I realized that today, Dec 12, is the 42nd anniversary of my college graduation. 

"How appropriate," I thought.  "Finally, I am getting some value from my engineering degree." :-)

Then I had an idea.  Several bunches of the Impatiens I planted last year have spread to other parts of the Palm Rockery.  Some of them have even "jumped" the stone fence around them.  They were in danger of being mowed down the next time my landscaper passes by with his tractor mower.

"Why don't I dig them up and try to plant them around the Tulip Rd sign?" I thought.  Like myself, they are transplants of the transplants.  And saving them from a mower was like myself escaping the communist henchmen back in 1968.  "They'll be my graduation Impatiens," I declared.  And then I went to work. 

And now, you can see them - transplants of the transplants. :-)

Flamingos, Lavenders Arrive Just in Time for Christmas

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 16 - Back the Upper Rainbow Shower, look what landed under our Rainbow Shower tree this morning, right in front of Anuenue (horse statue)... (left shot):

... perplexed by all the bird "chatter."  :-)  When Elizabeth returned home, she promptly named the four flamingos Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo.  :-)

Meanwhile, our two "monitos" (as Elizabeth calls our Christmas children figures) were more interested in the goings on inside the house (two middle shots).  I also used the beautiful day to plant some lavenders and other ornamental shrubs down in the Lower Rainbow Shower (two right shots above).  Elizabeth, who is now in Arizona, said upon seeing these pictures in her Blackberry, that she can just visualize lavenders all over that slope some day.  God willing...

St. Nicholas Day 2010

Click here to check out this year's St. Nicholas Day celebration (Dec 19), and a special concert.

Winter Solstice 2010: Much to Be Grateful For, Plus...

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 21 - As I look back on this year, I see that there is much to be grateful for on this Winter Solstice.  First, most of us are still here, on Earth, carrying on as well as we can.  Second, some of us had the privilege to witness an event mankind has not seen in almost four centuries - the full moon lunar eclipse (not us here in Hawaii, though).  Take a look at the weather on Maui yesterday afternoon.  Looked like snow in the mountains, didn't it?

Someone sent me this shot of the full moon red eclipse taken on the East Coast (right).  Consolations prize, I suppose.

...They Made It!  Two Aussies Set New Record for the Ages

Third, we also witnessed on this day an unprecedented event.  Two Australian middle-aged men did what no man of any age has ever done in recorded history.  They ran the equivalent of more than three marathons (81 miles) non-stop Cape-to-Cape in Western Australia (see Two Men to Run over Three Marathons in One Day!, Dec 19).

I plan to write an editorial about what happened during this amazing feat, and nominate the two runners for the "Athlete of the Year" award (see some of the past winners below).  For now, I will just share with you what I had said to Andrew, one of the two runners, and an old friend and neighbor in Western Australia.  I have also posted this comment on their blog about the event (www.fixedstars.com.au).

Bob Djurdjevic said... (11:50AM, Dec 21, 2010)

Oh, Andrew, Michael, I am SO PROUD of you two. I had tears in my eyes (and still do) when I read your message (late AM, Dec 21 in Hawaii). What an amazing feat you’ve achieved… something no one else has ever done, in recorded history anyway. And probably won’t any time soon, either. No wonder you do have aches upon the aches. My God… I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel to run 15-16 hours (?) [actually 19 hrs, as I now find out!], and cover 81 miles. And much of it in shifting sand, as I now also find out. Absolutely stunning. This is a victory for indomitable human spirit, not just the two of you. For all the world. Congratulations!

I did a shamanic ceremony for the about 20 minutes before they started their run (at 9:40AM on Dec 20, HST).  And I also performed a full fire ceremony tonight to thank the Creator and the spirits for carrying them through to their goal, and to honor the Winter Solstice (at 7PM HST, Dec 21, 2010).

And it all happened on the second "333" day of the year!  (12-21-2010). "333" is numerologically a Master of Love number - see Rainbows Return on "333" 'Master of Love'-Day, Mar 3.

More to come...

Associated Press and Sports Illustrated "Athletes of the Year" winners in the last years:

As you can see, the stack is heavily weighted in favor of U.S. athletes.  Only two male athletes won the award who were not American.  Only two came from amateur sports (track & field, speed-skating).

More Interesting Maui Scenes

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 23 - Last night, I witnessed a very unusual sunset.  The scene you're about to see lasted less than a minute, just long enough for me to run in and get my camera.  Then the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

It rained yesterday afternoon, before this picture was taken (left).  The ground must have been warmer than the air.  So the mist is rising from the ground and moving through the gulch like light fog. Which makes for a dreamy, misty sunset.  The red and golden orbs are a bonus.  They look like ornaments on a Christmas tree… a living palm in this case.

In the middle is a fiery sunset of Apr 5, 2009, as seen from our lanai.  I used it in the visualization portion of my latest video - Beethoven’s violin concerto adapted for piano.  This is a still shot from that video.  It makes it seem as if the music (keyboard) is symbolically descending from the sky.  Which is actually true.  Or you may see the keyboard and the pianist as a reflection in the sky as a giant mirror.

The right shot was taken this afternoon from the parking lot of Whole Foods store in Kahului.  The skies got very dark.  Looked like a tornado might be coming (something we never get in Hawaii).  The Iao Valley practically disappeared from view, swallowed by the clouds.  Which is why I had to mark it on the shot.

Which reminded me of the fact that yesterday afternoon, I heard thunder rumbling down from Haleakala Volcano for only a second time in two years.  We get plenty of rainbows but very few electrical storms.  Yet, when I went out around midnight, I could also see lightening flashes to the south, in the general direction of Big Island.  But there were obviously hitting something far away.  No sound was audible.

Merry Christmas! (or whatever other spiritual enlightenment you choose to celebrate at this time).

Christmas Day: Ho'okipa Surf, Stocking-stuffer & More

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 25 - Merry Christmas! (to everybody who celebrates it).  Happy Saturday! (to those who don't).

This afternoon, I went to pick up Elizabeth at the airport.  She returned home after spending 10 days with her kids and grandkids in AZ.  These are some of local scenes we caught on our way home at Ho'okipa Point, between Paia and the Rainbow Shower.  (I know, it's a real hardship "having" to pass this scenery every time we go into town). :-)

The surf was about 20-25 ft, not as big as last year at Christmas (Christmas Spectacular at Jaws, Dec 25, 2009), but respectable enough to keep all but the best surfers on shore.  We only saw four of them braving the surf.  And the waves were quite long.  Which made for some great surfing runs.

BTW - I doctored up this last picture (right) a bit with my Photoshop to give it a feel of a nighttime shot. I don't know why.  I just thought it looked more beautiful and mysterious that way.  And made that poor surfer swimming in the sea of white foam appear more daring.  In the left picture, however, the mist is real.  It’s the spray that rises from the breaking waves that makes it look like coastal fog.  It only happens when the surf is 15 ft or bigger.  The middle shot is a close up.

This year, with Elizabeth away until the Christmas Day, I decided to make an inverse stocking-stuffer.  I started with Elizabeth’s "painting of a painting" (left).  Had it framed professionally and hung on a wall next to my original large Greek painting.  Then I created this "artist impression" shot focusing on the original and its new offspring (dulling the background, and creating the shadows and highlights on the paintings - middle left and middle right as a close-up).  Then I turned the offspring into a inverse "stocking stuffer" for Elizabeth (right).  

(Usually, Santa is supposed to put some gifts into his sock.  But since that wouldn’t work in this case, I hung the sock on the painting.  It’s now up to Santa to stuff it into it, if he can ). :-)

Elizabeth had not seen any of this until she got home.  It was a welcome-home surprise for her.

... as will be some of the other art objects around the house and on lanai I created in her absence.  They represent a combination of purchased items and my "gulch art," nature's gifts which I shaped into art objects (bamboos, coconuts, African Tulip pods, lawai leaves, bird of paradise flowers, point setas, ginger flower, etc.)

And that's all for now from the Rainbow Shower so far in December.

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