My dad drove a beauty second-hand station wagon in those days, a navy blue Nash Rambler. In every way it was the perfect car for a two-kid family like ours. There was the back seat that flipped down so we could watch the movies at the Waialae Drive-In ... gone today of course and in its place a storage unit builder. We rented space there in our wanderings and yes I thought of those old Drive-In days. The old Nash took us around the old Pali Road to Kailua to be with our cousins who had a big pool and the sandy access beach. Our cousins, these are our people. Another set of cousins (10 of 'em) lived in the same valley as we ... I remember the Saturday morning cookie baking routine that took place in their house. Like a well-greased kitchen baking cookies for 10 kids once a week seemed like such a different world to me.
The small kid times lay a foundation of connection that served us well for most our lives. Once inseparable during the early years, the difference between us grew and the complexities of our parents' kuleana foibles, short-comings and illnesses widened the gaps. The subject of 'these are our people' is something Pete brought up last night. He'd been thinking about this for a couple days, remembering the weeks we spend camped on our cousins' lawn in Lanikai on O`ahu's Windward side. Forty years later, I was spending days and nights with one of those cousins who had been my kid-time foundation. The six foot six inch giant of a cousin keeps a home with his partner of decades, his youngest daughter and a six year old granddaughter. When we were new to the lawn there in Lanikai, the neighbors would walk within inches of our Subaru camp/home. Behind the yellow Hawaiian print curtains that created a fragile yet real privacy screen for our sleeping quarters, Pete and I established our temporary place. The neighbors were very accepting of us. Most met our gaze when we rolled out from behind the curtain still sleepy from our night in the car. One morning, "C" greeted us with her cup of hot tea as we woke from the night of sleep. Her neighbors were walking past at the same time. "Hi, how ya' doing she said to the neighbors as they walked." The neighbors stopped to chat. My cousin as I recall never skipped a beat as the neighbors looked from her to us. "Oh, these are our people," she said. We were their people, and we felt cared for.
The Mohist, the followers of Mozi of 5th Century B.C. China were more interested in doing good
than being good.
Who are your people, and who considers you their people?