By Virginia Beck

Aloha at Hanalei Bay

Our tiny Kaua‘i is actually a starship, travelling through the universe at amazing speeds.

We never dream of that while watching the slow pulse of the surf or looking for our other slipper.

The drifting, colored clouds seem to move slowly at times, unless strong winds arrive.

Or if you are stuck in “traffic,” where you have time to look around.

Rotating about 1,000 miles per hour, while we sit waiting for our friends to join us.

While we are enjoying the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the immense tapestry of stars stretches to infinity.

Kaua‘i seems solid and secure, rooted as it is on the ocean floor. The oldest of the inhabited islands, this immense sea mountain has its roots over 5,000 meters down to the earth’s outermost crust. Below that ancient lava spewed from volcanos 5.1 million years ago.

Compare that to the Big Island at under 500,000 years, and still under construction, showing off Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, rooted by an ancient hot spot, theoretically started some 40 million years ago.

Kaua‘i however, is cruising off to the Northwest at a little over three inches a year. Drifting with the shifting of the plates in the Earth’s crust. A geological dance in slow motion.

According to Cornell University, we are traveling at 67,000 miles per hour! Thank goodness gravity keeps our hair from blowing off. We will have traveled 1.6 million miles in the path around the sun. An orbital hula! Rhythmic movements ancient and seemingly eternal.

What have numbers to do with Kaua‘i? The papayas, the palms and the mynah birds don’t care. But people count. On an island of 550 square miles, about the same size as the San Francisco Bay, our 72,000 plus population. Or maybe 75, 000. It is hard to count with all those college students going back and forth. And families growing, keiki and marriages!

Before the pandemic, Kaua‘i was receiving about 1.3 million visitors a year, or about 11 percent of the total visitors to Hawai‘i. We are a small community, and our county is challenged to provide the varieties of services that residents and visitors request.

There aren’t 100,000 visitors a month now, and it will be several years until we reach that level again. We are working and learning together how to make this to turn into a good experience for all involved.

Housing has always been precious on Kaua‘i, as very little land is in truly private hands. Land cost and the extraordinary costs of imported construction materials are why homes are hard to purchase.

With the recent influx of remote work via the Internet, homes are being scooped up at nearly double the previous prices. This means that few of us who live here have a chance to finding a home, or a wage that will allow us to live here. Exporting our children and families is not a viable way to live.

As our county works hard to expand housing for our workers and affordable housing for others, things will get better and better. Using extra Aloha to get through these times is a good way to make friends.

Pandemic changes have altered everything and everyone. The numbers make a difference. Please take care of yourselves, as you are precious to your families, and care for everyone by following health precautions.

Aloha makes us great.

  • Virginia Beck, NP and Certified Trager® Practitioner, offers Wellness Consultation, Trager Psychophysical Integration and teaches Malama Birth Training classes. She can be reached at 635-5618.

 

 

 

 


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