Recognized Social Butterfly


Two Women, One Lesson

The other day, while waiting for Waikiki routed Bus13, I saw lots of other buses repeatedly come by: Express, 3, 9, 14, and a Not in Service designated bus. But Bus13 (it normally arrives every ten minutes) unaccountably remained elsewhere for over half an hour.

Just as I was ready to give up, I spied Bus 13 a few blocks away. At the same time, a woman who approached the bus stop started taking pictures of the top layers of leaves in a nearby ultra-tall and spacious monkey pod tree.  When I looked up as well, I was amazed and overjoyed to see that the leaves were elegantly vibrating and embracing in the wind. I had not taken the time (and I had plenty of it that day) to notice, never mind appreciate, this magical spectacle that towered over the bus stop. The woman started to rhythmically sway; she was so entranced. I felt like joining her, but I refrained: Bus 13, jammed with wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers, (no wonder it had been so delayed) had finally arrived.

I got on my wayward bus; she remained at the kiosk, fixated on the leaves. I am indebted to her: she made me realize how much natural wonder surrounds me every day, even at a bus stop flanked by congested traffic and assaulted by omnipresent police and ambulance sirens.

After I departed the bus and neared my condo, I saw another woman who stopped beside me. She began to stare at a tiny, fragile, bright purple flower embedded in the bottom of a hedge in front of the entrance to a huge condotel. Oblivious to the smokers on the other side of the hedge, the woman, awed by the delicate solitary bloom, leaned over and took an intimate photo shot. And then smiling, she sauntered away.

I usually don’t pause where she did—smoke sickens me—but if I happen again to notice any gorgeous bloom in that hedge, I will momentarily stop and hold my breath in the midst of such breathless beauty.

From the top of a mammoth tree to the bottom of a small hedge, these are some of the delightful, unheralded attractions of urban Hawaii. I promise myself to pay more attention to these abundantly given, glorious gifts.