Spring ‘freebies’ provide wealth of value, enjoyment

April’s full “Pink Moon” and cloud-riding effects may have spurred creative island spirits to spin fresh poems, sing new songs, or paint visions. Or maybe to just stand, watch and wonder as stars began twinkling and the moon rode velvety skies. Lovely to have the rains pour down once again, thrumming down “ancient style,” as danced in hula — raised hands flattened, wrists down, fingers together in downward motion — nourishing thirsty earth and plants. This prepares the way for masses of spring flowers in time for the upcoming Kauai Museum’s traditional “May Day, Lei Day” celebration here on The Garden Island.

Besides being tax deadline month, April is designated as National Poetry Month. Earth Day is a blink away, approaching on Saturday.

Fitting well with honoring the earth, my husband and I joined the throngs of residents and visitors who benefited from the Kauai Community College (KCC) Farm and Garden Fair offerings on last Saturday’s perfect island day of sunshine and breezes. Along with many others, we browsed garden nursery, fruit-and-vegetable, honey, nut and craft, and rainbow bettah fish displays, and enjoyed finding healthy bargains to eat, plant, as well as sample. There were educational talks given. Cold coconuts and frozen delights, and plate lunches of a mix of regional cuisines were available to purchase. It was fun to meet friends and talk-story. We admired the keiki at the petting zoo in their obvious states of pleasure as they pursued frisky bantam hens, cuddled chicks and bunnies, and stroked kids (goats).

In tune with April as National Poetry Month, retired English professor Steve Backinoff, who loves reading, writing and hearing poems presented, has organized an upcoming Earth Day poetry celebration and workshop to stimulate creative processes for youth and adults for this coming weekend. The event also honors the late poet/teacher Michaella “Misha” Mintcheff, whose indelible gifts still resonate with the people she touched.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, April 21 and April 22, performance poems with an open mic will be presented in the “Rumi Café” space of the Hawaii Storybook Theatre located in Hanapepe town. Friday’s 8-11 p.m. time is set so those attending the Hanapepe Friday Night Market can cap off their evening experience. On Saturday morning (9 to noon), keiki poets will read and write together in a workshop, followed by “Poetry Playshops — The Council of All Beings,” 1-4 p.m., all ages, also at Storybook Theatre. Those interested in participating may call Backinoff, 346-2587. The event is free; however, donations are welcomed.

To top off the Earth Day weekend, Ka Imi Institute (Ka Imi Naauao o Hawaii Nei/To Search for the Truth of Hawaii) holds its annual general membership meeting, program and potluck at Niumalu Pavilion in Lihue on April 23, inviting guests and new members. One of the Institute’s recent projects has been the publication of the educational DVD and Teacher’s Study Guide “Hawaiians as Scientists,” focusing on the importance of the water cycle. Visit www.kaimi.org for further information on the Institute and its mission.

A short meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Following will be a stroll through the adjacent restored wetlands led by Kumu Hula (retired) Keahi Manea, a weaver experimenting with the now available traditional makaloa reed. Those interested in membership and support of the Hawaiian culture institute are invited to attend and partake of the sunset potluck to follow. Please e-mail membership chair Ikaika Kaliher (patty.k@pattyk.org).

The loveliness of the sights and scents of the Museum’s Lei Day offerings are soon to be followed by the sounds of music in the air. To top off the free — and stimulating, enjoyable, educational and cultural — community events mentioned, come to three concerts in one weekend of early May. The 2017 concerts, says Conductor Sarah Tochiki, are given to honor the 25th anniversary of KCC’s Performing Arts Center (PFAC). Musicians are students of all ages; the programs are sure to hold appeal for music lovers of all ages, also. All take place at the PFAC on campus.

On Friday, May 5, 7 p.m., the KCC Wind Symphony and Kauai Youth Honor Band performs. Guest conductor will be the retired Royal Hawaiian Bandmaster, Michael Nakasone. On Saturday, May 6, 7 p.m., it will be KCC’s Jazz Ensemble onstage with guest artist Abe Lagrimas Jr. Also playing will be guest bands: the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Jazz Band and the Kauai High School Jazz Raiders. Sunday’s program, May 7, will be given at 4 p.m. The community is invited to enjoy the sounds of the KCC Symphony Orchestra (yes, Kauai has an orchestra! Stringed instruments are alive and well here) in a repertoire ranging from Beethoven through Sibelius to stirring folk melodies arranged for orchestra.

The “Green Flash” notes that KCC is the only community college in the University of Hawaii system to offer a full instrumental music program. Participants enroll in the ensembles either through the college for credit or through the KCC Office of Continuing Education.

Again, all these opportunities are offered free, with tax-deductible donations and/or membership graciously accepted to help with ongoing work representing the enriching missions of our community non-profit and educational organizations.

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Dawn Fraser Kawahara, resident author and poet, has focused her supportive interests within the Kauai community since the early 1980s. She and her husband, a retired biology teacher, live in Wailua Homesteads. Their passion for travel flows into the writer’s monthly TGI column, “FarAway Places.” Kawahara’s books are available through Amazon and other outlets. Info: www.kauaiweddingsandbooks.com.

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