Hitchhiking is easy in a dream. Strong winds blow the world sideways, trees grow reaching limbs angled as in wanting and the hopeful coastal walker is a leaf following in the gust. One long road to Ka Lae, the South Point of the islands, taken alone as the sun goes down. This rocky cliff side is the first place named by human tongue in Hawaii. Vast and beautifully brutal, it is the original point of voyagers’ entry and a host of doorways; if eyes are open here they can see beyond the ancient temples and shrines on the plateau to the rips in time that lead back to when life came here from the sea. The most aware wanderers might traverse the tear.
Walking from Kona to Hilo, from his mansion to his studio, the hitchhiker strays south on the lush and lonely path to Ka Lae to tread his past. This place of origin is his as well as the Hawaiian people’s; when he arrived in search of his island roots, a spiritual retreat here was his home. Now that it is almost time to leave the archipelago, he steps backward into dreaming. Miles out from anyone, he wanders the path of the wind. Hours pass like seconds in this altered state until the sun is gone. No rides on this road; he will sleep wherever his feet feel done.
Trees in Ka Lae bend at the waist and stretch out long to the fingertips in a reverent bow. The gnarled roots of one tree rise above the ground, curled toes making shelter for a weary traveler to hide from the night. Winding his way into the twisted wood, he becomes a tiny, radiant piece in a tropical tableau. The hitchhiker feels safe inside this growth, watching the sky as it watches him; but, the bushes shake and a fiery mongoose disagrees with his choice of resting place. The creature speaks, talking angry and wild. It screams in a way the wanderer has never heard and seems to say: This is not where you end. The hitcher hisses in response, unsure if he is conversing with flesh or spirit, and exits the knotted nest for the road.
In a flashing moment, the mongoose is gone and a car appears. The traveler meets the blinding light with a grin and is greeted in return by a shout of his own name. This driver is a friend headed all the way to Hilo and happy to bring the hitcher home. As he climbs in the welcoming door his gaze lingers on the windblown tree, sculpted by air to point to the sea, the beginning of this dream and dreams to come. On the islands he found the deep-drinking roots he came looking for and knows now how to spread his leaves. This is not where he ends at all.