Collective Moments

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O'ahu, Hawai'i 2016   |  Canon AE-1, Kodak Portra 160


Hawaii is probably one of the most breathtaking and alluring places I have ever been in, and one of the things I came to appreciate while living there was discovering the simplest yet most profound experiences hidden in the nooks and crannies of day-to-day occurrences. As always, I would keep a record of the soul sparking moments as they happen, and this story adds to the collection.

The day after July 4th was an eventful one: visiting the ranch to watch a polo match then meandering our way to the satellites for a friendly, private tour, both of which was a fresh experience for my sister and I.

The night prior to that, we had a long celebration of Independence Day, where we spent some time at Turtle Bay and witnessed surfers paddle out in the ocean at the middle of the night to watch the fireworks by the sea. Of course, not one to miss the occasion, we found ourselves by the rocky parts of the shore and watched along with them. We then drove home and headed to the beach to set up a small bonfire, quietly celebrating and gazing at the stars (thanking them for a dazzling night). So the next morning, we had a delightful buzz going around and all of us were on a positively high note.

Following a peaceful and relaxing breakfast, which always consisted of our aunt preparing a hearty meal for us and gazing out at the ocean, we headed out to the polo club to watch the Sunday game.

There were the riders with the whole breeches thing, and of course, let's not forget the well-groomed horses. I kept thinking how classy and prestige the whole set up was. When we arrived, the match has already started and not having any clue about a polo game, I couldn't follow the goings-on of the whole thing. But as my aunt started explaining what was happening and the defining the terms of the game, I kind of got into it and was fascinated at how the play went. I didn't vouch for any team but the strategy, control and precision of the riders over their horses and sticks was an incredible thing to witness.

After spending a lovely time at the ranch, we drove up to one of the highest points to visit the satellites. A fella living in my aunt's house worked there and the night before, he offered to take us and give a tour around the place. It was a restricted government-owned area, so we were lucky to be given access to it and have a peek around.

We witnessed a stunning sunset that afternoon, marveling at the satellites and how the skies cast a heavenly array of colors over them, before heading inside the compound where a bunch of towering electrical gears were wired up. If I remember correctly, it was the ones being used for astronomical and web communications, and (obviously) it was extremely complicated looking. We were given the know-hows about the satellites and how it all worked together; from the numerical codes that were used to control the satellites and pass over information to other databases to the types of wires and mechanical components that were used for a certain task. The technical set-up and figures that was carefully thought over and put into it is absolutely mind-blowing.

When we drove back home, it was already dusk and dark orange hues tinted the skies (the third photo was taken at that exact moment). From our high vantage point, we could see the glimmer of lights from the surrounding towns and it was like the stars twinkling under the night sky. Everything was phenomenal.

When things start out in an amazing, energetic and vibrant way, it also ends up on a magical note. That particular weekend was an amazing one filled with new experiences and relishing in the simplicity and beauty of our Universe. 

P.S. For some reason, I love how the light leaks turned out in these photographs. It gives off more depth, character and subtlety on the captured moments.