Legislative good news; Bananas

I have rare legislative good news! I first received the news from Kona Coffee Farmers Association (KCFA), but it was also in the newspaper.

Thanks to the testimony of KCFA, and widespread support from our legislators, the HCA, HDOA, Farm Bureau and Ka’u growers, the Senate CPN committee passed the coffee bill HB2298 with language reverting back to the original draft! 100% origin in the bag, with a phase-in by 2027.

This was a big win in the short run.  We’re not done yet, as we still need to get heard in the Judiciary committee. 

Last week I wrote in this blog how disheartened I felt. But I try to keep doing my part by testifying. I keep any deadline in mind, and wait till a time I feel I can keep trying. I remind myself that moods are like weather … ever-changing. Find it within myself and show up. I have been rewarded many times in life for just showing up.

A brief aside on the topic of showing up. I highly recommend a beautiful article in The New York Times on 1/19/24 by Rabbi Sharon Brous, “Train Yourself to Always Show Up.” It was written in the context of grief, but there are so many quotable words of wisdom for living life, in general.

Showing up for one another doesn’t require heroic gestures. It means training ourselves to approach, even when our instinct tells us to withdraw. … Reach out in your strength, step forward in your vulnerability. Err on the side of presence.

Hmmm. My thoughts are going in a contemplative direction now.

I’m going to lighten things up. Our friend had a friend from Japan and her nine year old grandson visiting. I know what a nine year old will likely enjoy: riding in the back of the pickup truck, cutting bananas down, and climbing in the lychee tree. [Another friend pointed out, “Adults would enjoy that, too.” True! ]

When I saw these photos from R.S., they made me happy. Kids can be so expressive. Several people have said we should do banana harvesting “tours” (experiences) instead of, or in addition to, coffee. Watching coffee in its growth phases, or learning about coffee trees, just isn’t as exciting or immediately gratifying as locating banana bunches in the “trees,” bringing down a whole “tree” with the cluster on it, holding the fruit up like a trophy, and maybe eventually eating them (if visitors are on island long enough).

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