Quick as a wink, life may turn topsy-turvy


Dancer, poet,

be the lotus once again …

…the spaciousness of simply sitting there

dancing into peace

letting peace

write you

— Dawn F. Kawahara, poem extract based on Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times”

You turn the pages of the calendar. One quarter of the year has just ended!

You look back to February with its Presidents’ Day, and before that, Valentine’s Day dedicated to the expression of love, and the day the groundhog’s shadow supposedly predicts winter (but not in Hawaii).

You glance through March, the little squares marked Ash Weds., Daylight Savings Time Begins (but not in Hawaii, again), St. Patrick’s Day and the First Day of Spring.

Your eye skims April, relieved that the main tax dates are past. Some birthdays and anniversaries have been marked here and there, appointments, and for me, writing deadlines. These are interspersed with Palm Sunday, First Day of Passover, Good Friday, Easter, Earth Day. Administrative Professionals Day and Arbor Day. These just slipped away, too.

Where have these days gone, you wonder? And yet there are life-sustaining habits, sun-ups and moon and star rises, and surprises and memories wove through all, so far. And you count on more to come, guided on by that lovely, old-fashioned new year wish of “good tidings.”

As a writer who places importance on headings and titles, when you see a headline such as The Garden Island newspaper carried last Thursday, April 27, “HAWAII AT RISK,” you pay attention. There it was in big block letters, preceded by Tulsi Gabbard’s surname.

Reading the banner headline, you felt as if everything had turned upside-down in your world of the Garden Island, Kauai nei (homeland).

A close friend recently remarked, “I love it that our newspaper has front-page headlines about monk seals and corals, forest birds and hula. If I want the other news, I can get it.” The idea was that she could, but she might choose not to. We both chuckled, knowing we were on the same wave-length.

And yet, even then, you remembered the smaller headlines that sometimes pop up on the “Morning Briefing” page within the newspaper. How, along with other readers, you suspected that global unrest and threat were just waiting to go beyond a hint and a simmer and boil right onto the front page. Ah — but how you were hoping for it all to be just a bad dream you could awaken from to reassurance that all would be OK again; or a dark fairytale where the book covers could be smacked shut; or even a magic lamp where the genie of destruction could be “magicked” right back down the spout and corked shut for another 10- to 100,000 years.

No such luck. Our present-day spring has been turned topsy-turvy as we head for summer by taking in the reported news that the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command has confirmed the threat of North Korea to Hawaii.

The s-seeded snake-hissing phrases used such as “missile defense capabilities,” “ballistic missile architecture” (architecture? Really!), “military strategic assets,” tend to chill you to the bone. Just letting your mind get within strike of the idea of nuclear power being unleashed upon the world can freeze you. How to prevent fear from seeping into every cell of being and causing the type of paralysis a cold-blooded snake’s hypnotic gaze exerts upon its victim, if that victim becomes engaged?

Let us consciously work at joining the raised consciousness of prayerful people around the world, sending out positive thoughts to join in strong vibration. Most people do this almost automatically when loved ones are threatened by illness or adversity, or when hearts are touched by those who are suffering and in need around the world. The Dalai Lama speaks of how the good monks, by their prayers and meditations, help hold the world in balance as the forces of good and evil dance on in their ongoing struggles.

In the late 1990s we celebrated what was called the Harmonic Convergence here on Kauai. The focus was upcoming challenges, drawing upon the wisdom of great world teachers and leaders underlining the quote that what we “must fear is fear itself.” You may recall the charge was to align with what is known to be good and true, to actively seek solutions to even the smallest of problems, and to cultivate courage to keep fear at bay.

Discounting doomsday predictions and such, it does seem that certain predictions about the escalating destructive weather patterns around the world and great areas of global unrest have been writing themselves upon this new century. As to the Kauai “fairytale,” we can’t be unaware that on our Westside lies the Pacific Missile Range Base, for which security has been continuing to ramp up as the years unfold, and from which a series of interceptive rockets have been tested. And then, in the cliffs that hug the Mana plain, may be stored … (I won’t go further with that line of thought.)

This month and those following will bring news more far-reaching than May Day and leis, and the day set aside to specially honor Mom (and apple pie?), not to speak of Summer Solstice. Dear Readers, please take — and keep — the aloha heart and the courage that it can give, even in small servings.


Dawn Fraser Kawahara, author and poet, made her home on Kauai in the 1980s. She and her husband, a retired biology teacher, live with books, music and birds in Wailua Homesteads. Shared passions are travel and golf. The writer’s books may be found in local outlets and on Amazon. For more information: www.kauaiweddingsandbooks.com.


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