I’m driving Sam to Lihue. He’s leaving Kauai a week early to visit his girlfriend in Minneapolis. It’s been a day of showers, and the road is slick so I’m taking it slow especially around the curves. The sun is just starting to go down as we pass over the last one way bridge out of Hanalei and make our way on the Kuhio Highway. I’m concentrating on the road and thinking about my dad who was killed in a car accident a few weeks ago, and how he’ll never see his grandchildren again. He’ll never get to congratulate Sam on his first job he’s starting in the fall with the Iowa Senate. Sam breaks the silence by talking about the possibility of parallel galaxies, first contact and Carl Sagan. We talk about the universe and it’s vastness and how in order for our planet to survive we need to leave it. This kind of talk gets my mind off my dad and the countless things I need to do now that he’s gone. I always get sad when I drop Sam off at the airport but today is different. I know I’ll be seeing him back in LA when we come home but now that he’s graduated college something feels different- a different sadness perhaps ?
I park the car in front of the terminal and get out and give Sam a hug and ask him if he has everything. He says yes and I tell him I love him and he walks away.
Driving back, the lights of Lihue quickly fade in the rear view mirror and I start back towards Haena, it starts to rain again. I think about my father’s death certificates waiting for me in my mailbox back in Santa Monica. When I get back to the north shore the rain has stopped and I walk to the beach. The tide is low and I see dark outlines of exposed reef and catch glimpses of white water where waves are breaking. I look up at the night sky which is spread out before me like a beacon with unlimited meanings. I think about beginnings and endings as I look at my watch. Sam’s plane will be taking off soon heading east across the Pacific Ocean, crossing a couple of time zones with stops in Phoenix and Dallas before he reaches Minneapolis.