So this weekend this conversation happened…

“Arleigh, you realize you’re white…”

“Mom, did you just assume my ethnicity? My heart isn’t white.”

“What? I can identify as Hawaiian? I’m Hawaiian!!! Tell the world! I’m out baby!!!”

And that happened before we saw Moana. Here are a few notes.

  • The Moana soundtrack has played on a loop since we saw the movie. 
  • I cry about every third time I hear the soundtrack.
  • I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would watching the movie.
  • I cried ALOT.
  • My children now live in fear (And Ray and Mom too) that I will come home with a giant full back sting ray tattoo. 
  • Moana is now on everyone’s Christmas list. Moana bedding, Moana toys, Moana mugs, Moana…you get the idea. We all want to be Moana or Maui or Pua or… again… you get the idea.

In case you can’t tell, we all loved Moana. I will try not to spoil it other than say go see it. I am island sick in the WORST way. I had no idea it was possible to crave salt water. I want to taste it in the back of my throat, feel my arms pull through it, walk in half way and watch the fish play by my feet, swim with the honu. Did I mention I’m island sick? I want to climb up the mountain and look out at the vast turquoise water and know I’m so far away from all the world’s problems. I think I need to move to Molokai and live off the grid. Wait, I’d never make it. Just let me move back to Aiea and live on the hill. That’d be awesome.

I always feel a little guilty loving Hawaii as much as I do. It’s not Mom’s favorite place. As beautiful as it is, it will always remind her of her lowest point. As much as I would love to share my love of that island with her, it’s just not possible. So when this song started playing…

I bawled. In fact, I tear up almost every time I hear it.

I’ve been standing at the edge of the water
‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try
Every turn I take, every trail I track
Every path I make, every road leads back
To the place I know, where I can not go, though I long to be

That’s the first verse.

The chorus goes something like this.

See the light as it shines on the sea? It’s blinding
But no one knows, how deep it goes
And it seems like it’s calling out to me, so come find me
And let me know, what’s beyond that line, will I cross that line?

I may not cross the line but I can watch Moana over and over and tell my grandchildren that a long time ago I was lucky enough to call it home. Aloha.