Leaving Hanalei is so sad; green scales fell like rain…

Someone at Hawaiian Airlines painted a woman’s face on the tail of each aircraft. Whoever designed that  logo had put some serious thought into the artwork, because it is a very evocative visual for an otherwise nondescript jetplane tail. As you view the lovely lady’s profile between concourses while, say, sitting on another plane, her hint of a smile draws your imagination into a  fascinating tale that she seems ready to tell.
Maybe it’s the story of Hawaii, a most amazing place.
There’s a flower in her hair. I think it’s the hibiscus blossom you find everywhere in these islands, the large one that so many women love to tuck above one ear.
But I’m wondering, as I consider this simple, almost cartoonish Polynesian silhouette, if the lovely lady may be on the verge of offering to us flown-in visitors some lilting island lullaby. Yes, I think she would sing for us if she could open that iconic mouth. It would be a soulful song, a wistful crooning, accompanied in the slack key, about a land called Hanalei. I was just there this morning, on Kauai; I woke up there, and I did not want to leave.
She seems to be looking slightly upward. The artist has managed to depict in her expression, despite his art’s sparse simplicity, a suggestion that the virtuous Mona Le’i is anticipating some gift from above. She’s raising her eyes toward Mount Waia’le’a’le, I do believe.
She’s singing a melody that has been passed down from the Hawaiians of long ago; its a song, like the lei that accompanies it, of welcome.
Though Jackie Paper has come and complicated her ancient ohana simplicity with  highfalutin’ Americanization, she nevertheless welcomes us fretful haolies in selfless innocence.
Endowed by her creator with a perpetual halau smile, she greets the aging flower children as they make pilgrimage to the mystical north shore of Kauai; there they seek Paradise, like Ponce de Leon sought the fountain of youth; they come to frolic with their children in the mists of a land called Hanalei.
And I think maybe they’ve found it–Paradise, that is.
It’s too bad that house prices are so high here–the price of living in Paradise. My friend Sunny and his wife and kid live here, though. He’s writing software.
But I can dream, can’t I?. . . might have to settle for Honolulu, or even Florida.
Oh, but it’s time to buckle the seat belt and get back to the mainland.
Aloha to the gracious wahine of the islands.



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