gashkadino giizis in oahu

by waaseyaa'sin Christine Sy

#17

warm winter saltwater ocean    buoyant sway     curly white foam of long waves rising, breaking, rising, breaking forever meditative sounds     sea mists + sea turtles feasting    little girls whispering about a boy in the shallow lapping waters     young one jumps off the remains of a dock while another meanders in contemplating            a man plays shark with children and i am reminded of Island Lake Northern Ontario, swimming all day into dusk, how balancing on shoulders under water and being launched off into air and water was the most exhilarating game    i remember intoxicated adults swimming at night, a woman taught me as a little girl to float, she laid buoyant beneath me, i can feel her round body supporting me and then slowly moving away      my mother? my stepmother? another?           here in this winter ocean i float in the undulating colours of sea green, light sand, surf foam and navy blue, taste salt on my lips hear myself breathing endless sky and wonder what it must feel like to paddle out to those mighty waves out there where those surfers are paddling towards right now the feel of the roar of those ten foot waves the feel of that kind of courage and trepidation and rush and freedom         here now, on this cloudy december night on the west pacific coast in Lekwungen territory     i remember how that floating in these waters and these memories brought me to shore     returning to your long lean brown back sprinkled with light-coloured sand, soaking up the medicine of that place      your spine and curve of shoulder, shoulder blade       our sun-warmed bodies breathing in rhythmic contentment   i love how your feet are bigger than mine, a cradle          i love how you love these anishinaabe feet in summer all wide and deep brown with tan lines    i loved how those teen girls rolled out at dusk in traditional skirts with their iPhones and that you felt what i felt about how special and significant that was and is          those Kanaka Maoli girlfriends having a good long visit         surfers returned safely to shore just this side of last light, apparently right around the time sharks come around for dinner    the smell of fragrant flowers in the night as we walk back to the car, make our way back to the city

‘āweoweo beach, mokuleia in gashkadino giizis      the complex mountain-to-ocean ecosystems defy understanding through anishinaabe seasonal lenses     kanako maoli womxn as generous teachers and hosts