birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Baby Luau

Slowing down is one assumption about island life that is true. There is a pidgin term for this, "bon bye" which means bye and bye. Or, all in good time. It is understood that there is only one two lane highway that circles the island. Only so many hours in the day, and that slowing down is a mainstay of Hawaii culture.

A daily example of this is the importance of lunch. Everything and everyone STOPS for lunch. And by lunch, I mean Bento or plate lunches. When I visit Hawaii now, the first thing I do when I get off the plane is head straight for my favorite plate lunch place. Plate lunch is Hawaii's melting pot version of itself. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Philipino, and Hawaiian foods are represented. Post World War II fare. There are various, more upscale fusions now, but the original is unbeatable. Teriyaki, Tempura, BBQ, Fish, and rice. Two scoops or one? And then there is the potato mac salad. White carb heaven. Just add Lillikoi soda.

Another example of a full stop is a Baby Luau. A baby's first birthday is celebrated by the family hosts at a public park venue. Big pavilions and long tables. There is live Hawaiian music floating on the air. The invitation will tell you to dress Aloha style. Leis! And the food, all provided by the hosts is beyond generous in description. This is not snack time, this is feast time. When all the food is ready, the man of the family stops the music and festivities and cries: "Hele mai", or "Come eat!!" It's an order we all obey and queue up in lines snaking our way around the buffet. The expectation is that guests will come back for more. (Funerals are like this too, though the vibe is slightly altered.) We learned this phrase, which applies to all luaus, parties, and gatherings: "...don't eat til you're full, eat til you're tired."

Imagine You Are In A Field

Go Slow!