People, we have a holiday lighted boat parade!

I did not blog last week because I was participating in the Rohatsu sesshin, sometimes called a Zen retreat, a time of intense meditation in celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment. Here, Dec. 1-8 we meditated daily at 6-7 am and 6-7 pm (not too intense). I try to pare things down to basics for the week. I tended to our coffee business, and tried to keep to just one activity in the day — a swim, yoga session, or walk. Eating and cooking take up a surprising amount of time. I’d like to be able to turn off the need to eat sometimes. No TV, no stereo. I didn’t read online news. And no superfluous usage of electronic devices.

I had one major unanticipated deviation, since my friend and I somehow spontaneously decided to use our cat as an accent to some yoga poses. It was quite amusing. It was another friend’s birthday, so I sent her a shot to go along with a happy birthday wish. It turns out she and her husband did goat yoga (!) that day, so she sent photos. We then had to try and mimic those. A cat is not a goat, though. Anyway, I had to post some shots on our cat’s Instagram page. Not quite in the spirit of the retreat, but I had to seize the opportunity since my good friend was visiting only for the duration of the retreat. Plotting out poses and photo shots and managing Mio’s willingness and attitude was great fun.

It’s not quite feasible to put the coffee business on hold in the first week of December. A Norwegian customer (no, not family) already put in his order in September (!) before we had coffee. In a previous year he had bad luck with shipping (both here and there) and Customs, so he wanted to get it ordered ASAP. He contacted me by email with a subject line, “the dark tastes of inner earth.” Norwegians, based on some of the movies and music videos I’ve seen, reference the old myths and can come across with an epic, dramatic, and mythological worldview. Ha! Kind of reminds me of Hawai’i, myths and living earth.

In any case, mahalo nui loa to so many of you for all your coffee orders. I know many of you share coffee as gifts. I am truly grateful.

After life on hold for a week, it’s back to the holiday season. Yesterday late afternoon we went down to Kailua for some of the festivities. Nāpua Greig, five-time time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner, from Maui gave a free performance for an hour. She has a fabulous voice, and she has a fun personality. There were several performances by talented dancers of various ages from two of our local hālaus.

After that, there was the eighth annual lighted boat parade. Last year, the first since COVID, there were five boats and one canoe. I thought there’d be more this year, but there were four boats and one canoe. Fewer than last year! I think there are two categories — boats and human-powered (canoe, kayak, paddleboard), and they give prizes three deep. The best boat gets $1000, and the best human-powered gets $200 or $300. We learned that from the KAPA radio DJ announcer.

There were so few participants, it made you feel and act kind of silly. You wanted to whoop it up. It was supposed to start at 6:00, but they started at 6:15, so it’d be a little darker for the entries to make their two loops near the pier. The KAPA DJ did a great job working the audience and sharing her humorous pidgin commentary.

Talking to people at the pier this morning, many people didn’t even know the event was going on. I could only find this little blurb about registering for the parade, and there’s no mention in it of a contest:

The Kailua Village Business Improvement District invites sailboats, powerboats, canoes and kayaks to be a part of the festive holiday celebration.

Registered boats and canoes line up near Kailua Pier and wind their way around Kailua Bay. Spectators can view the parade of lighted boats from anywhere in the village, including the seawall.  To register to be part of the parade, email or call 808-936-9202. Entries are due by Dec. 5.

Well, there’s an awareness and promotion problem. Those in the know, know, (all five of them) but others … ???? If you’re local and have a boat or friends/family with a boat, think about it for next year. Apparently, you can register as late as one week prior.

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