I arrive on big island by a small plane from Maui. I board the plane alone, after my family takes off for Honolulu. I meet a couple sitting next to me, one a person trainer and the other who works in marketing. I don’t have time through the flight to indulge in the sadness I feel upon leaving my family. Instead I embrace this contact, allowing my choice to ascend upon my solo journey with a comfortable flawless ease.
We had boarded at the same gate. I joked that the universe knew these were our last moments together for many months and gave us this time to indulge in each others company. I had walked my brothers to the ticket stand and hugged them then, a moment of stillness amidst the buzzing busy throes of anxious travellers. An exchange of hugs, kisses, well words. I learn a lot from you, my older brother Zach said. I always do. I learn a lot from you, I said to him. We are fire and wind; yin yang principles of opposites that need each other to reach harmony. We will continue to learn a lot from each other in the days to come. Cody, my little brother of 5 years had tears in his aqua blue eyes, allowing them to appear even more magnified than usual. As a small child he was always stopped with remarks like, look at those eyes, they are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. We share a similar colour scheme those his eyes are noticed and commented on much more than me. Probably because of his dark curly hair and high cheekbones.
My parents waited until the last possible second by the Hawaiian Airlines attendants before entering the tarMack to their awaiting plane. They embrace me with long hugs, before pulling apart from my chest as if it is a delicate art to do so. As if physical pain is invoked in the motion. They are hesitant to leave me, to see their daughter enter into the unknown. Somewhere their grasp won’t touch. Can’t touch. Where their watchful eyes can’t see. I stepped back to join my bags as they walked up to edge, almost out of sight. I called to them I love you, I love you, from my place at the gate on a stationary black leather bench. Feeling so grateful for the people who made me what I am, for those who showed me what unconditional love looks like and feels like, I watched then disappear slowly from sight. I noticed what it feels like to not longer have those watchful eyes on my back. I imagined them adjusting in their seats, plopping their bags by their shoes. I imagined Cody wiping his tears, Zach smiling, my Mum and Dad curled up next to each other. I watched their plane swivel around and inch toward the runway. I think I heard them say be safe, right before the plane lifted up towards the Hawaiian blue cloudless sky.