At home, before sunrise...

January 9th, 2014, 7am

It was 15°C. The wind was calm.

Dear Lorien,

This is the view from the porch of the house where Lloyd lives.

It is a few minutes before sunrise this morning. It’s a spectacular view, don’t you think? One, he says, that he has never gotten tired of, in the decade or so that he has lived here.

On the upper-middle left side of the picture you can see the island of Lanai, which is around 8 miles away from the westside beaches of Maui. (Several years ago, the sister of a former student of Lloyd’s, who is an open-ocean swimmer, swam across from Lanai to Maui, and it took her about 4 hours. There were big waves in the channel that day, and the thing Lloyd remembers most about it is when Jessica said that, during her swim, she actually got seasick, for having to swim through those waves! Surprising.)

Sunrise is actually behind the photographer, in this view. You are looking westward, to the West Maui Mountains (or Halemahina as the ancient Hawaiians referred to it, which means “house of the moon”). The volcano on which this village sits, is on Haleakala volcano; the name means “house of the sun.” For why it is called that, you can read this story of how Hawaiian demigod Maui captured the sun.

The dark area that you see below the pink of the horizon is the shadow of the massive volcano behind us, cast by the not-quite-risen sun east of it. It is an amazing thing to watch this shadow move towards you as the sun rises, and a sharp, angled line of light moves from the top of the distant mountains, down it, then across the valley. It is a drama of light that takes place in mere minutes, and is breathtaking to observe.

And this is how Lloyd’s day mostly looks when it starts, he says, as the skies here are usually clear for most any day of the year.

your friend,
Flat Stanley

David Wade said thanks.

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Lloyd Nebres

I lived in a village and homestead set aside for people of Hawaiian ancestry. I am not Hawaiian but had been adopted into the culture—to my profound gratitude.

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