YEAR OF THE RAM CONTEST
Thoughts on the way to Pana'ewa rain forest. - 400 words.
Then, from the corner of my eye, something bright red flashed past!
Thinking about Pana'ewa rain forest, masses of tall, gnarled 'ohi'a, fragrant yellow 'awapuhi and cool,misty rain come to mind. Nobody thinks of Christmas trees though. Deep in the forest, a stand of Christmas trees grows in a bowl-shaped clearing, it's my 'ohana's secret spot since "mai kinohi mai".
Uncle Kapuna and I go up there every year. This summer he passed away, time flew by, and I completely forgot about the Christmas trees in the forest. Then a few days before Christmas, I lay in bed for a few seconds after the alarm went off, reminding me of the raging, early morning surf. Tutu shuffles down the hallway, pausing, then I hear her soft knock on my bedroom door. "Boy, you sleeping?" she pauses, "Boy?" More persistent knocks. "Yeah tutu?", I reply. "Gotta get da Christmas tree early this morning you know." "Yeah tutu, I going."I knew I had to bring back a tree for her. It's the best gift I can think of, after all, she's the only one on the planet who cared enough to raise me.
Driving my hamajang pick up on the old mauka road, I struggled to pick out the right spot, the fog and wind slowed me down. I knew it wouldn't be easy,only Uncle Kapuna knew the exact spot. But I found it. It always took us a little while to pick out the perfect one, so I circled the stand of trees a few times, it's so peaceful up here, but kinda dim and eerie at times. My mind was on the big surf, I thought, guarantee I'd be paddling out by now. Then, from the corner of my eye,something bright red flashed past! I should've asked my buddy Bobo to come along. I worked fast, hacking, chopping like a machine, threw the heavy tree in the back and dug out.
Decorating the tree always makes tutu happy. Once the tree is up and lit, she slowly shuffles into her bedroom and sobs softly for Uncle Kaipo, who never came back from Vietnam many years ago. She still hopes he'll return on Christmas Day like the young soldier in "It's a Wonderful Life". I sit in the garage, take another pull of Primo, and continue strumming on Uncle Kapuna's "out of tune" 'ukulele as the Hilo rain falls.
Have a "mele" one fellow writers and readers of BR. Make love, not war.