From Kona To Manhattan: Reflections From The Journey

We just arrived home from a glorious 11day vacation in Hawaii.  First stop Maui for the fairytale wedding of friends and then off to the Big Island Hawaii.  We arrived in Maui in what was for us the middle of the night, made it to our hotel and crashed till our breakfast date with the bride and groom. The real vacation did not begin until we landed at Kona Airport the following Monday.  Just the drive from the airport to the home we were staying in was awesome.  Pulling out of the Dollar Rental lot onto the highway we were awestruck by mile after mile of lava rock.  The flow thousands of years old from the active volcano, (there are three or four on the Island I believe) goes into the sea.  The contrast from Maui itself was startling, from Manhattan dramatic.  Compared to our life in NYC we were on an uninhabited island.  As I said to Dan when we landed at JFK, we’ve seen more people in the airport than we did all week on the Big Island. The Big Island is beautiful.  Eleven of the world’s 13 eco systems can be found and experienced there.  The air is clean and fresh except in those places that “vog” is prevalent.  Vog is the combination of fine volcanic ash with the atmosphere that results in a haze that hangs over parts of the island.

What was most striking though was the sound of silence.  I’m reminded of the famous Simon and Garfunkel hit Sounds Of Silence. (SONG LYRICS)

We spent a week enjoying the sounds of the Pacific Ocean lapping up the shore, of birds singing at different times of the day and the occasional golf cart going by our home.  We played music occasionally, turned the TV on for news, mostly read or took in the sights of the Island. Whether at Volcano National Park, or Akaka Falls the combination of nature’s majesty coupled with her natural music made for an extraordinary experience.  Coming from NYC where residents have become unconscious to the bombardment of noise, I found myself luxuriating in the sound of silence.  In last week’s NYTimes, Maureen Dowd (CLICK HERE FOR LINK) writes about the new film The Artist that made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival.  It’s a silent film in black and white.  It’s hard to believe but we have generations of people throughout the world who have no appreciation of the importance of silence, quiet moments alone or being with another with no interruptions.

I speak for both Dan and I when I express our gratitude for the “sounds of silence” we experienced on the Island of Hawaii.  Look for our holiday newsletter coming out shortly.