Archive for the ‘nature’ Tag

Hallowed treasure   8 comments

 

 

 

The captain shut off the engine and steered the boat in, closer to the caves deep under the volcanic mountains off Kauai’s Na Pali coast. The low tide sent rippling waves to the shoreline just feet from where the caves opened up. What could not be seen beyond the cavernous entrance could only be imagined as the site opened up to what looked like a mysterious, enchanted place to explore. The boat drifted, rocking gently on a calm sea. Sunrays burst through the opening enveloped by the bright light.

I stood near the bow of the boat snapping pictures, awed by the beauty of these volcanic mountains with their ridges and crevices revealing the effects of time and erosion from the lava flows after eruptions that now were full of vegetation and growth. Older generations of native Hawaiians believe these mountains to be hallowed, sacred places blessed by the gods of their ancestors. At one stop during our cruise our captain, himself a native Hawaiian blew loud notes from a conch shell pointed towards a small inhabited Hawaiian natives’ island where they alone occupy, and no visitors or tourists are ever allowed.

I let my mind and imagination wander as I watched and listened for any movement or sound expecting to see pirates bursting on the scene with drawn swords and guns. Native Hawaiians believed in the folklore and stories told by their ancestors with a deep reverent respect for their culture and historic accounts of the island’s beginnings and inhabitants believing them to be blessed by the gods. Was it just folklore or were there really ghosts that lurked and lived in the hallowed spaces deep in the volcanic mountains of Kauai? Even the fish seemed to scatter from the shallow water that was as blue as a sapphire and as clear as cut crystal. Did they fear a marauding band of pirates’ spears? What was it like here when the first island inhabitants came to shore with little else but the fish, wild boar, deer and goats to coexist with?

I tried to imagine a scene from Walt Disney’s, Pirates of the Caribbean when learning the movie was shot here at this site. I loved the movie. I remembered the adventure ride at Disneyland way back in the sixties when we lived in Los Angeles, and riding the boat through the water canal, never dreaming of its potential possibilities or future. Now, on this adventure to the site of the movie I thought, What incredible beauty! What a journey, cruising the waters, discovering this treasure on Jack Sparrow’s deep blue sea.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Kaua’i Island, Hawaii   4 comments

KAUA’I

Where coconut palm branches sway

to a hula dance in the breeze

and boisterous exotic birds

with their chorus choir fly,

and seagulls swoop in

as the fowl stroll lazily by.

 

Where turquoise water rolls in

and flows rhythmically to shore,

and marine mammals lie

near incoming lapping tides.

And surfers catch the swells, riding waves to shore

and swimmers snorkeling, barely seen

in search of what lies beneath.

 

Across dense fields sugarcane plants grow wild

tall and green with thick leaves blowing in the wind

and the ground full with pineapple,

papaya, nuts, taro, and other fruit.

Acres and acres of coffee beans grown,

roasted and harvested in robust blends and ground.

 

We drive up roads and climb

through canyon valleys and see

such picturesque sublime beauty, it’s hard to imagine

how volcanic mountains and lava caves

are now covered in foliage so lush and green.

 

We look out on a never-ending sea

and all I want is to gaze at the sight,

not think what waits beyond this day,

put aside thoughts about the ‘latest news,’

what goes on in the rest of the world,

and dwell instead on what I came to see

across the Pacific on the island of Kauai.

_______________

 

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Footnotes: This is the first of several pictures and posts of my recent trip to Kauai Island, Hawaii. The above picture I took of the upper east side when we pulled off the road and stopped to take pictures.

January’s freeze

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My spruce tree shivers from a winter’s blast

heavy branches drooping under fallen snow.

The air so cold, seems still and quiet, a serene like setting on a frosty night.

I snuggle down under the comfort of quilts, and feel the warmth of restful sleep.

I wake to the sun, warm and bright that pushes through my window with light.

The morning wears on and temperatures begin a slow climb from the subzero degrees,

and the arctic blast of air dissipates and leaves.

I shed a layer of fleece and insulated outer wear,

sweats and heavy jackets, and opt for short-sleeved tees.

Where else but here are there such shifting weather scenes,

where temperatures fall to record lows, and snow is measured in the feet

then hours or days after we slosh through winter’s thaw,

and it feels almost balmy, like a warm spring day.

We wish away the season, and hope it’s really gone,

but know it’s wishful thinking for it soon returns like dawn.

It seems a predictable pattern, so we never put away

snow shovel, gear or blower

stored beside the garden rake.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

Footnote: Our temperature in Loveland, Colorado, Friday, (1-6-2017) registered at -17 below 0 degrees at 8:00 a.m. Today, it registered a high of 50 degrees above 0 at 2:00 p.m..  That is typical for our area here in Colorado. 🙂


Posted January 8, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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Like the deer

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

Like the deer in search for water

I seek and long after thee,

to drink from the stream of life where flows

the living water that washes through me,

and my parched soul be quenched by your spirit

to thirst no more, but refreshed and free.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Posted December 5, 2016 by Joyce in Faith, My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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Winter comes to the high country

I watch clouds turn dark and ominous

as the season changes in the high country here.

Our camp fire crackles in the crisp autumn air,

and a whistling sound like a distant water’s flow

builds with intensity across mountain slopes.

Trees shed their coverings as gusty winds blow

leaving dry beds of pinecones and needles on the ground.

The front moves in and wildlife hunker down.

Dusk falls, temperatures drop, ice crystals form.

A dusting of snow glistens on the peaks.

We wait the coming storm.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Posted November 28, 2016 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons

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Embracing autumn

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Dry leaves blow, like crisp

bits of fine paper, scattered

in all directions.

The sun fades slowly into

dusk and cool, dark autumn nights.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

The American bald eagle; iconic symbol of strength and might

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Like a vulture claiming it for its own

an eagle sits perched upon the spoils;

the body of a deer laid open like prey

from that which hunts, stalking to find

those vulnerable and weak, failing of mind,

the eagle; strong, enduring, and with might

guards and defends what he claims for his own

and stands watchful, eyes searching, locking on sight

any who would come and take with a fight

from he who stands over what remains of life.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

We captured the above photo of a bald eagle on our way down from the mountains recently. It was a quick shot taken from the car window, but we were happy to have gotten only the eagle in the picture considering that it was perched on the body of a killed deer during its ‘mealtime.’

The American bald eagle, the iconic symbol of the United States is noted for endurance and strength. Its image, seen on flags, coins, military uniforms, historical emblems, records, etc. symbolizes our country’s greatness, character, and honor. It was founded on such principles, over two hundred years ago. When I saw this eagle laying claim to this fallen dear I thought of the wars fought, battles won, our rights and freedoms saved with the might and strength of our military swooping down upon its enemies who come against us to lay claim to what we defend, fight for, build up and strive to protect. The American bald eagle represents honor with a fierce protectiveness that fights to gain what he needs to survive.

It graces the skies, soars over mountain tops, flies over bodies of water, swoops down and captures, much like our military forces. Wherever it flies, it is unafraid, determined, intent, purposeful. It is in nature how one must survive, one game pitted against another, size and strength always determining the victim from the victor. And in life, in this country it is how we must be to not just survive, but to thrive, to continue to be, ‘one  nation, under God, indivisible, with life, liberty and justice for all.’ A country that is free, one of honor, one that can lead by example, not just by might, must be one that acknowledges a higher power. The American bald eagle holds its head high. I hope we can be a country that does the same, not bow its head in shame. I wonder.

JEJ

 

 

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