Last week I found Thomas sitting in my path. I was traveling a straight and narrow path that had scheduled me for a 15 minute–half hour max–stop at the Hilo Coffee Mill. I needed to re-glue the three carving blanks that had come loose from their carving boards during the previous Sunday’s Introduction to Carving workshop. And I had a lot of other stops on my “to do” list. As always, that list ran longer than I could reasonably accomplish in a day or two, or seven. Sound familiar? But anyway, there sat Thomas sipping coffee and gazing at the screen of his laptop.
Thomas and I started talking story, a mode to which he seems naturally prone, for he couldn’t have learned the trick in the short time he’s lived in Hawai’i. We talked story for two hours. Philip joined us midstream, and we probably could have gabbed the whole day. Maybe some day we will, but that day I couldn’t extend my indulgence that far.
The Carousel of Aloha Project makes an obvious connecting among the three of us, or maybe I should say that the Project highlights the connection that has always existed. And I when indulge in the richness of that connection I become more open to engaging in other serendipitous encounters. Later I quipped to the unknown woman in line in front of me at the supermarket, “chocolate chip cookies?”. She was waiting to buy all of the ingredients including a foil baking sheet. And we began a short conversation that revealed that she and her husband had just moved to the Big Island, and he’s retired. So I gave her my Carousel of Aloha business card and encouraged her and especially her husband to visit the website.
I have no idea if those 10 minutes will measurably advance the Carousel. I do know that I felt happier as I left the store, and I think that she did too. And I believe that the unplanned two hours I spent at the Mill changed me in a way that make possible those 10 minutes.
We are building the Carousel of Aloha, the carousel of ALOHA. As I travel down this path I realize, however slowly, and appreciate more and more the importance of building not only with basswood and glue, but also with aloha