For me... it's in a thousand small details. Like the way the air smelled so different on Maui than it did on Oahu. And how the flowers in the country seemed to be dripping off of everything around me, even though the air was fresh and cool.
It was in the way cowboys sauntered up the street and how you couldn't have hurried anyone along the sidewalk if you tried. It was in a breakfast cooked by a guy who called my dad "uncle" and it was eaten in the open air at a counter next to another guy who retired and decided to be a paniolo.;-) It was in an empty gallery where such spirit and life used to reside and it was in a different one across the street, where artists weave jewelry out of strands of silver, where turtles sparkle, and a sculptor fashions animal characters that make me laugh out loud. It was in the sound the whales made when they sang, while my friends were photographing them right alongside me and how it felt to be in that place at that time. It was there when the dolphins joined us and the announcement came that this was so rare. It was in the little shop where my sister and I spent a lazy hour trying on brightly colored dresses and it was in the face of a young Russian boy who paints sea turtles and knows how to carry on a conversation with a woman while looking her in the eye and smiling warmly. It was in a dog's kiss and a woman's little bird whistle at the Farmer's Market that happens every Wednesday in Makawao. It was in the fragrant flowering jacaranda trees lining the road, just about ready to burst into full bloom. It was in the softly setting sun over the westernmost mountains and in the clouds that hovered over them protectively like a blanket made of cotton balls that one could reach out and stretch with their own hands. It was in my little hammock chair, swaying in the breeze. It was at Coconut Glen's where jade flowers bloom prolifically and I ate fresh coconut milk ice cream in a bowl made from half a coconut and a spoon made from a piece of the shell, served by a sassy girl from Boston who paints suitcases in her spare time. It was in the mist on the road to Hana and in my father's prayers in the backseat while my sister faced her fears and took on the backside of a volcano. It was in my father's boyish smile during a helicopter ride and in the face of my beautiful friend, Janet as she dropped her bags in the middle of the airport and danced hula just for me. It was in a sunrise walk in the clouds when I stopped feeling my fingers and never even noticed. It was in a hug and a drive, a ranch and a rock wall, a celebrity home and a private school. For me... it's in a thousand small details.
I'm waiting on the plane to take me home now. I don't know how it is possible to feel as though that thing is taking me both to and away from my home at the same time... but it is. It surely is.