Observations The USA


It is Sunday. I go for a long walk. Sunday is a good day to walk because the traffic isn’t as bad. It is a bright, blustery, wet, winter’s day on Maui.

I head off down Makawao Avenue, holding onto the bill of my ballcap to keep it from blowing off. For the first half mile, I step into the weeds when the cars come barreling up the street towards me.

Then I reach the sidewalk and start to really relax. I see a local woman with several children coming towards me. I give them the sidewalk. The little girl on the bike says hello and I return the favor. The woman comes next. She is pushing a stroller. I say hello and she looks my way without changing expression and walks past me.

I turn right at the intersection and start walking up the hill towards the rodeo arena. There are a lot fewer houses and cars on this street. I stop to gaze at a tiny pinto foal lying in the tall grass of a large pasture. A handsome bay mare grazes nearby. The foal twitches a few times but does not rise. I look at my feet and see a large avocado. I pick it up and it is unblemished.

Carrying my prize, I continue up the hill. A little further along, I stop to watch a shiny ring-necked pheasant picking its way across another pasture towards a fat pheasant hen.

A small car is coming down the hill towards me and I step into the weeds. It begins to slow down and keeps slowing down until I think it is going to stop. I am puzzled until, at the last moment I see the smile of the woman behind the wheel and realize she has slowed to pass me out of respect. She is also a local woman but what we call Haole here because she is white.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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