It is good to return after being away. Some things are changed and some things, well, some things they just never change. I take comfort in that.
I was sitting with my grandma the other day at the beach park and she told me of the old days living on a sugar plantation on the Big Island.
I sat there and her words were transformed into the tastes of the mangoes and the pucker of the citrus they grew. I could hear the click of the abacus her father used to check his monthly earnings. "I asked him to teach me" my grandma said. "No it is too complicated for you" he told her. Girls were supposed to cook and wash the clothes.
Then I saw the dirt in the creases of her childhood hands as she talked about spending time working in the yard and her mother joking that she should have been born a boy and her brother a girl.
The sound of the stream whispered as they played beside it with kids from the plantation. Kids of many races.
Her mother scolded them and told them to play with their own kind.
"But why?" my grandma protested. "We all have to get along in school and they are my friends we should be able to play with everyone..."
I was thinking maybe it was my Grandma who I inherited this openness, a love of strange new sights and the yearning to play with the other kids who were different...