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On songs of love, old dogs and a bike crash

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Leina’ala Pavao Jardin and Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. lead the singing of Hawaii Aloha Saturday night.

The benefit concert for Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina‘ala on Saturday was wonderful. Beautiful song and dance throughout, led by the gracious and gifted Kumu Hula Leina’ala Pavao Jardin.

The estimated 600 or so people at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa were treated to a special evening that emphasized love, harmony and aloha.

A magical ending weaved it all together.

The singing of the Hawaii Aloha song, again led by Leina’ala Pavao Jardin and joined by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., had the crowd on their feet, holding hands, singing along. The dancers on stage held heart-shaped balloons. The smiles were big and joyous. In those final minutes, one could feel the love that musicians like Natalie Ai Kamau‘u, Waipu‘ilani Flores, John Mahi and Homestead had been singing about all night. One could not but come away feeling better.

If there were any differences of political opinion, if there were any angry feelings from arguments, if there was any discord, you would not have known.

Too often, we get caught up in complaining and becoming upset over little things that just don’t matter. We are quick to criticize and slow to encourage. We are quick to push others down and slow to lift them up. We waste energy being negative rather than doing what we can to be positive.

Saturday night, singing Hawaii Aloha, was all about coming together and sharing love, courage and strength. It felt good.

•••

If you’re considering adopting a dog at the Kauai Humane Society, please consider an old friend, Heathcliff.

I am partial to this 10-year-old Terrier, American pit bull mix only because I found him wandering the streets near our home on a morning walk with our dogs shortly before the end of 2017. I had spotted him days before, but he ran away.

The next time I saw him, he was limping, had a gash on his shoulder, he was terribly thin, and was clearly worn and weak. He no longer tried to run. He couldn’t. He tried to walk away from me when I approached, but he didn’t put up a fight when I caught up and put a collar around him, attached a leash and led him to our home. I fed him and let him in the house, where he curled up in the corner, glad to have a place to rest. KHS later came and picked him up.

I feared, because he was old and in bad shape, he might be put down, so I sent a note to KHS President Diann Hartman. If he was going to be euthanized, I wrote, please let me know first. Perhaps I could help find him a home.

I didn’t hear back. But finally, I saw his picture on the KHS website of dogs up for adoption.

He looked healthier, like the grizzled old warrior I’m sure he was. My guess, he was old and someone dumped him.

His chances of adoption here may not be great, but from my brief time with him, this guy was gentle and kind, a good heart. Please give him a chance.

•••

There’s nothing like a bike crash to make you feel young. Really. Well, at least at the time.

Sunday, I was biking toward Ahukini on the paved path that runs along the fence around the perimeter of the Lihue Airport and parallel to the ocean. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but one moment I was zipping along, and the next, I was spiraling out of control and going down. I managed to mostly fall on the grass next to the path, but my left elbow and left hip landed hard on the pavement,while my right calf suffered a few cuts. Bloodied, but overall OK, I stood, pleased no one had witnessed this embarrassing scene. I actually was quite pleased with myself for rising so quickly from a hard crash and pushing on, even sending a quick text of my battle scars to my kids. Yep, still tough enough to fall and get back up and keep riding. Still dumb enough, some might say.

The next morning, not so tough.

My hip ached. I felt old and sore. I kind of limped around. My left knee hurt, too.

This, I thought, is why I need to stick to running.

•••

Bill Buley is editor-the-chief of The Garden Island newspaper. He can be reached at bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

1 Comments
  1. Chad Taniguchi February 1, 2018 8:13 am Reply

    Aloha Bill,
    I’m sorry you fell while biking. It happens. Hope you were using a head protector—helmet. Try to figure out why you fell. Every crash is preventable. Walk bike run swim surf paddle hike. Keep moving whatever way you can!


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