So I realize this post is long overdue since it has now been a couple weeks since I was in Hilo, Hawaii, but better late than never I guess.
The ship wasn't docked there for long there so the friend I was traveling with and myself basically tried to make the most of the few hours we had. Because of that we were pretty busy but that didn't stop me from noticing the sheer beauty, both cultural and physical, of where I was.
Culturally, Hawaii has quite a bit more depth than I had previously realized. I always knew Hawaii had a cultural all its own but not what that meant exactly. Once I got there I realized what an impressive blend of native Hawaiian, Japanese, and modern American that culture truly was. The best example of it that I found was the little grille I ate lunch at. We walked in and the décor was this artfully eclectic mix of exactly those three cultures. Everywhere I looked, I could see these Japanese prints and cat statuettes but they hung or sat right next to stunning pictures of glowing lava flowing out of a volcano or a pineapple. Then as we sat eating shrimp, teriyaki chicken and rice, we heard the same country music you would hear on the mainland playing throughout the restaurant. We saw similar reflections of the cultural blend basically everyone where we looked. Out shopping for things we forgot and snacks we wanted to stock up on, we saw the "Hawaiian" clothes just a few aisles away from the Japanese food all inside a mainland American store like Walmart. Just looking at signs you could see Hawaiian words put right next to more American ones. It was really unique.
What I found even more awe inspiring though was the scenery. It was full of all this bright contrast. The crystalline, blue water would lap up against the volcanic, black sand beach with these lush, green trees growing right out of the rock on the edge of it. It was stunning. Just driving around the island getting from one place to another you saw it everywhere. The trees and grass, the flowers and birds, the sky and the water, even the rock, everything was bright and vibrant, like they all knew exactly what color they were supposed to be and proud of it.
Everywhere I looked, be it in nature or in the culture, I found these distinct contrasts. Yet, they all seemed to go together so well. They were incredibly different, but if one were without the other, it wouldn't be nearly as beautiful. This strange blend of uniquely individual items that one would think couldn't come together so seamlessly did just that. Each thing with its own unique characteristics complemented another with its own entirely different set of unique characteristics.
Looking back I can't help but notice that and wonder if humans, each with our own set of unique individualities, can ever learn to do that and complement each other's differences with our own instead of compete with and pick at them.