We began the day with another early morning, so I decided to wander down towards the ocean for a morning meditation. I’ve been meaning to set up a more consistent meditation schedule, so it seemed like time by the ocean was a great way to begin. I settled in on a lava rock facing the sea, and spent ten minutes focusing on being present and becoming one with that rock. I find that when I am meditating more often, my overall ability to handle challenging situations, be they major or minor in scope, improves.
On my way back to the house, I decided to explore some of the rocks. It amazes me how the volcanic rock can seem to otherworldly. And since being in Hawaii on Christmas feels alien in the best possible way, I am drawn to these black rocks. I snapped this photo, which encapsulates the many contrasts of this island. The black rocks with the white coral sand. The low lying beach areas with the high volcanic hills. The blue sky with the white clouds that dot it. This place is mesmerizing, a perfect location to be present.
After my early morning exploration, it was time for more Kona coffee. I tried a new combination today, oat milk with macadamia nut syrup. It did not disappoint. And it was clear from the foam art that Hawaii loves me as much as I love her.
As our leisurely day progressed, I returned to the keiki (child) ponds and the beach to search for fish and look for more photo compositions. I was surprised by how many tropical fish are visible from the lava rocks surrounding the ponds. I vowed to snorkel there more this week. Heading back up the beach I found the remnants of this twisted tree and fell in love with it.
Most of the rest of the day was consumed by shopping at Target to prepare for Christmas dinner at the house the next day. I did manage to sneak in some quiet time on one of the hammocks, though, and there I found another darling green lizard on a palm tree. They make my heart happy.
When we were planning the trip, I thought attending a luau on Christmas Eve was about the most Mele Kalikimaka thing we could do. So, I booked the seven of us an evening out at the Royal Kona Resort, which is less than a mile from our rental home. Six of us had been to a luau before. Oddly, however, my 87 year old mother-in-law, who has traveled the world extensively (seriously…she has been to Timbuktu and Easter Island, among many other notable locations) was the sole traveler who had not experienced a Hawaiian luau.
We were greeted with two Mai Tai beverages a piece. Could not refuse that offer. Then we dined on salads, roasted pork with cabbage, local fresh fish, poi, pineapple, and coconut rolls before the show began. If you haven’t been to Hawaii before, a luau is a must experience. It’s a good way to try local delicacies and learn something about how the islands came to be inhabited and by whom. The Royal Kona luau featured a show that covered dances and legends from many sister islands, from Tahiti to Tuamotu, Rarotonga in the Cook Islands to New Zealand. Not being much of a dancer myself, I find myself entranced by Polynesian dances, the elegant hand motions combined with the fast, rhythmic movements of the hips. It’s fascinating to watch. But the show’s crescendo was an impressive fire dance from Samoa.
At the end of the night, we returned to our ocean house, sat under the covered dining pupupu hale (hut), and listened to Hawaii. From the touristy main part of Kona, music and the cries of holiday revelers reached our ears and reminded us that Christmas Eve is a celebration. As a boat, lit up for Christmas, sailed by, we decided it was indeed a very merry Mele Kalikimaka.