For the last 3 or 4 days running, I have been waking up in Hawaii – even though I have been home for over a week.
It is as if I left something behind…
But what could it be?
This was the most wonderful trip ever. And I did connect on several levels that I did not before. And I met the most incredible collection of people.
Like Demetria Oster and her husband Joachim (photo above right) of Blue Horse Kona Coffee. They lived in Manhattan, New York until the early part of the 21st Century until circumstance brought them to Kealakekua, Hawaii – the Big Island as we call it. They brought their daughter to a New World, like explorers of old. It was quite the departure, from one of the riches cities in the World to a virtually unknown belt of agricultural land that produces the bulk of specialty coffee known only as Kona Coffee.
And if you didn’t know what a coffee plant looked like, you could very easily pass through town and not see a single plant – even though you were surrounded the entire time.
As my wife Andrea and I walked around the Oster’s farm, Joachim and Demetria’s commentary added a dimension to the tour that I was not expecting; humanity. passion. transition. hope. stoicism.
A coffee farm, any farm… and the terra firma that it is planted on tolerates your presence… sometimes just barely – I speak from experience. But if you are ready to give enough and love enough, then maybe, just maybe the land will yield – and reward your efforts with another year of survival.
For me, having the Oster family open this window was a significant piece of the coffee puzzle falling into place. Part of this trip was about my coffee journey and thinking about writing the next chapter. The connection has been made.
And as I have been waking up at 3 AM every night, I am sure a part of me was left behind… with a whole bunch of work to do.
In fact, I traded a piece of my heart for a basket of coffee farm soul. And there is no cure other than returning for some more.
Colin Newell lives and breathes coffee – on the green planet Earth and hopes one day to have a better understanding of it all.