Growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, I lived five minutes by car from Rainbow Falls (look closely and you’ll see why it earns its moniker). My parents would drive us there when off-island relatives came over—or when rainstorms produced a massive wall of crashing water. Both my mom and my dad were attuned to nature: they would notice when Mauna Kea was snowcapped, when cloud cover signaled rain, when the falls were a trickle or a deluge. But I was blithe. As a young adult, months, perhaps years, might pass between visits. I took Rainbow Falls for granted.
When I became a travel writer with Hawaii as my beat, I saw my home island objectively for the first time. I finally appreciated not only its obvious natural beauty but also its local culture and unpretentious people. It took distance—in space, in time—for me to see Hawaii clearly. Now I’m grateful for being born and raised here.
Today, I live in Vancouver. Do I see my current hometown clearly? Do I take it for granted? Have I learned from my mistakes?
This is my food for thought on Thanksgiving.