Why, oh why, did ya ever leave?

Kona calls with its light blue voice.

It sways a hundred gold mornings in front of the eyes of your heart, and sprinkles the air with green cackling parrots.

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White and yellow plumerias giggle, and the dark blue sea lays out its wide carpet of sapphire.

Rising above Kona is the wide green chest of the mountain laying back against the sky. Above it the endless powder blue heavens filled with storybook clouds.

Kona is beckoning with languid hula fingers, pulling you back home.

Why did you ever leave? Now you’re stranded on the mainland, far from the nest, so lonely and tired of the rough reality. There’s no magic here, no softness, no quiet nights. You remember nights in Hawaii you could hear an ant walk across the floor.

In Hawaii you could roam free, get out of your car and walk around, tromp through the jungles. There were papayas, avos and mangoes everywhere. No rules or fences.

But the mainland is all fences, nobody gets out and walks around. You stay in your car. Smog chokes the air. People honk. Jet planes scream overhead.

You are standing in your living room in L.A., San Diego, or Alaska, surrounded by the cold. The drabness has worn down your soul.

God how you miss the warm, wearing shorts and a faded aloha shirt. Walking along Alii Drive, the white foam splashing the rocks. You can see the palm trees, the cute girls on the beach, Hapuna, Kua Bay with its clear pastel waters.

You’re dying to put on slippahs and surf trunks. You’d trade it all for a cold beer at Huggos and one dreamy red sunset. One sweet drop of aloha.

It’s almost a bad thing to visit Hawaii, afterwards no place feels as nice, no other place is ever quite right or warm enough. You’re always comparing, always yearning.

You know that paradise is just five hours away, sitting there grinning and holding up a mai tai.

But how can you leave? You’re dug in so deep. The job pays so well. But why not? You’re not even here, you’re on a beach, sipping a cold one, your toes wiggling in the sand.

Waves break in your dreams. You’re at Lymans, Banyans and Pine Trees. The liquid fingers of the hula dancer are beckoning, time for the great escape.

Coming home is always easy.

It only took two garage sales to get rid of your stuff. The going away party was a trip, your mainland friends gave you plastic leis. They must have yelled out “aloha!” a hundred times. God love ‘em, but time to go.

You slipped out the back door of your life.

Everyone knows how it is. You’ve been there, feeling the butterflies, smiling when you heard the golden words crackling over the speaker, “This is the captain, we’ll be landing in Kona in 15 minutes.”

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Sweetest words you ever heard.

Dennis Gregory is a writer, artist, singer, teacher and Kailua-Kona resident who mixes truth, humor and aloha in his biweekly column. He can be reached at makewavess@yahoo.com.