“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest…It’s about who came, and never left your side.”-Unknown
During the holiday season, there are many people who haven’t anyone to spend these special moments with. In fact, its assumed that during this time of year, suicides and depression increase. According to several studies including one by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, “Researchers found that depression rates and suicides actually drop during the winter months and peak in the spring.”
Here comes the sun
Even on the island of Maui, homelessness and loneliness exists. There is one thing that I have found that has eased my sense of depression during this time and that is the spirit of Aloha. It appeared in the kindness of the people who I’ve met during my stay here. Having to take a job to support my traveling habits, I am blessed to be a part of several people’s lives. During Thanksgiving, a rescue crew of three young women invited me to share Thanksgiving dinner at Maluhias’ parents home. In fact I was eating dinner at a diner on that day when they told me to pack up my food and come home with them.
Before entering, it is customary to remove your shoes. Introductions were made and the traditional Hawaiian hug and kiss on the cheek was given. Even the children are taught this greeting and given to me, a total stranger to them. No pretentious behavior in this home. A relaxed atmosphere and good food. I felt at peace right away. For a moment I longed for my family but soon that too slipped away as I enjoyed the company that sat before me.
Bells will be ringing
As another holiday begins to follow the last, I was again invited to take part in the company Christmas party. How could I turn it
down when Rowella, another co-worker, was kind enough to ask? So once again I partook in the upcoming festivities of merriment and fun. It reminded me of old Mr. Fezziwig and the parties young Scrooge attended. Laughter, games played and prizes won, this truly was fun. The women decked in their after five wear, the men all scrubbed and pressed. Children abound and plenty of food. The claws of sadness did not touch me on this day as I snapped away on my camera.
Grazin’ in the grass is a gas
Today brought on a different kind of cheer. A causal affair with some of the co-workers, spouses and children were invited to Rowellas home. The party consisted of pot luck, games for the children and football for the men. (I did say all the children) Squeals of laughter rang out from the backyard as the games for prizes were played. My camera snapped away at the children and even some of the women who gathered for the photo shoots. As I laid in the grass for some of the pictures or fell on my butt as I backed up to get a better angle, I felt as though I was home. Never as a stranger invited but as a friend that stops by.
When my hostess walked me out to her front porch, I looked to the right and noticed the wonderful view. The land, a cruise ship in dock and the ocean stretching endlessly. I have found a sense of peace in Maui and with my co-workers, my new friends. The true feeling of Aloha has covered me making it difficult to leave. My heart will surely break when the time comes. I will not think of that for now but instead continue to bask in the beauty that blesses me everyday. (Click on photos to enlarge)