Where the road ends at Pololu Valley Lookout, Akoni Pule Highway deposits us at the beginning. Well, close. It’s a few valleys further beyond Pololu, over the other side, down again and up again on a trail used more frequently by pigs than men. The forth valley is were his first memories begin. There are seven valleys on the Northeastern tip of the Big Island which long ago cut into the Northeastern side of Kohala Mountain. His world was smaller then, and he knew just the one.
THE BOYS, BEGINNINGS
Radiant red flame streaked over the heights. Our piece of the rock turned to greet the star. The dense fog which had settled heavy on jagged peaks resisted like a depressed glutton ensconced on a bench at an all you can eat buffet. As the warm glistening rays increase over Maine’s High Peaks Region they articulate a whisper of relief, sending streams of brilliant starlight tumbling across the tops of hearty Pitch Pines.
What had begun as a night of uneasy concern, had blossomed into fulfillment and hope.
A child was born.
She had fought hard for this one and her eyes reflected the struggle. She lay back smiling with quiet joyful peace and relieved exhaustion. Sleep my love. Yet sleep escaped both mother and child, weariness and immediate need taunted the two. Hearty lungs in concert with thrashing arms and legs demanded just compensation, for he too had contended, willing himself into this new world.
It was late October and we should have been comfortably settled in our winter home weeks ago. Summer surrendered quickly to the chill of mountain shadows this late in the season. Damp pregnant clouds hung suspended above the land, behemothic celestial lakes in desperate need of release.
Revisiting those days, we both recognized our focus must remain on this new life. Yet nothing would dispel the nagging suspicion, we had overlooked the signs. Our human drive to understand, to control having compelled us to stay, to grasp at reason in this harsh veiled land now smugly uttered accusations of doubt, leaving us unsettled and uneasily straining at the ghosts of illusive probabilities.
The Child Grew, spirited, loud, filled with zestful exuberance. Days melted into weeks, weeks into months, and the child grew strong. Toy cars became dinosaurs and dragons. Dragons became shadows in the dark. The blackness withheld secrets from this child of light. Someone was watching.
It has been said, “Fortune smiles on the Bold…”
Fortune exploded in unrestrained mirth when Gabriel shouted his introductory breath. Spewing her coffee she leaped in enthusiastic anticipation exclaiming, “The places we shall see together. The truths we shall discover,” She twirled in dance with fluid grace in abandon.
Time smiled on the two thoughtfully. He knew…
Minah birds swore vociferously, excoriating young Gabriel as he leapt out of bed disturbing their predawn tranquillity. Raucous avian chatter reprimanded him like harpy moms at a little league game. It was 5:00 a.m., and he was hungry, first however he needed release. He pulled the double hung window in his upstairs room farther up and sighed in relief. The view through the wood frame window in the muted predawn light displayed a subtle painting of rolling campestral splendor many attempt to capture on canvas and few successfully achieve to young Gabe. His small remote island home sat on the lower Northern slopes of Kohala Mountain on Hawaii’s “Big Island” and it was a glorious morning. An audacious new day he murmured softly. He was in a good mood this morning, yet brooding disquiet tempered the moment. Why do I rarely feel one way about things he questioned? My existence is an unsettled treatise between feelings, opinions, predilections, and convictions. I’m expected to sort it? I’m six. Just let me have fun and do what I want! In one breathe you encourage me to be true to myself, to others, and my environment. WE DISAGREE! Adults. They’re really confused big kids.
The cousins relationship was wild, fun, and fiercely competitive. While he loved the serenity and attention the single child enjoys Gabriel also thrived on the camaraderie, excitement and energy of other children. It seems relationships are replete with circumstances neither child nor adult can resolve, he sighed. The sound of Mourning Doves cooing their familiar refrain brought a modest smile to his eyes, “It’s OK, It’s OK, It’s OK. He picked up his “Hubba Bubba” bubble gum from the dresser and started down the stairs grabbing his backpack and hooking it over one shoulder as he descended.