The leaves had mostly fallen that cold and distant dreary day, putting on their annual parade of colors; the usual green gives way to yellow, then to orange, soon a deep red followed by a final burst of violet to end the show. Nature’s fireworks. The weather quickly follows suit and begins to fade like the setting sun as winter gently tightens its grasp on this sleepy mountain town. Snow is on its way and by morning nearly a foot has settled. I breathe in deeply for one last time, a final taste of that sweet mountain air and close my eyes. Seven years of memories and adventures, friend and farewells flash through my thoughts. I open them once more, start my truck and head down the hill for one last time, bidding adieu to Arizona skies.
That was 8 months ago. Damn, is that it?
Once again I find myself racing down a familiar hill; yet this time it is under Hawaiin skies. My truck is long gone, hardly a memory anymore. In its place is an old mountain bike, a bit rusty in spots but rolling smoothly below me. To the right are sweeping hills of fields of gold and appear to continue on endlessly beyond the horizon, blurred at the edges as I begin to float down the highway. To the left is an equally expansive view of the great Pacific, looking more like a sheet of glass on such a fine evening as the sun quickly sets. Above is something very unexpected. A bird? No, an owl. Pueo, the protector, the guardian, flies with me for what seems like a lifetime, soaring silently above with so little as a single stroke of its wings to keep pace. In Hawaiin mythology an ‘aumakua is a spirit of the past and can take on many forms; today it is in that of an owl. My friend, my brother, watches over me. For miles we fly together beneath a sky as still as the night.
So where am I going with this story? Nowhere, really. The point being made is that a single moment, a single decision can change your entire life. You can learn more in the course of a second than in a lifetime.
This is one of the big reasons I like photography. You can capture that single instance, freeze it in a frame, and it will live on well past the moment ever did. Below are many of those moments I have had over the last few weeks, highlighting some of my further explorations into the unseen and uncharted depths of Hawaii. The Hamakua Coast is a place of legends. A place of wonder and mystery and unparalleled beauty. Much of its depths is also uncharted terrain and is what draws me to it, begging to keep pushing further and deeper into the forest
Stay tuned as we continue to delve deeper.