I’m first one up this morning thanks to a slight jet-lag and sitting in the open air lobby of my Hawaiian hotel. Laptop open, I’ve settled in to check email and sip my green tea (ubiquitous Starbucks, thank you). A series of realizations wakes me to wonder and I feel surprisingly close to Mother.Dove in Outrigger Waikiki LobbyFirst, I notice the music. It’s a mild and whispering series of Hawaiian ballads.

I smile as one of my Mother’s old favorites begins and then go back to work. The volume spikes for a moment over the sound of the shallow waterfall to my left and there it is again, more insistent. ” Lovely Hula hands…” OK, Mom. I hear you. She loved Hawaii so.

Growing up, I’d often wander into the kitchen, her domain, and she’d be standing there swaying. I would giggle in embarrassment as she’d circle me. Her arms outstretched, fingers alive and flowing in time to an inner orchestration as she murmured, ‘Lovely hula hands…”. Hawaii brought her so much joy. She’s been gone now for several years. The song has awoken that sweet connection to her and these beautiful islands.

This morning I’ll sit here in Waikiki for a few more minutes until my sleepy companions stumble downstairs for coffee and introduce them to Helen’s memory. If the green tea kicks in, I just might embarrass my son, break into a little dance and sing, ‘Lovely Hula hands…” It’s lovely to feel close to mother.

Elaine Masters, 2011

Travel wellness specialist, speaker and award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga, books and audio available at: www.DrivetimeYoga.com