I don't remember a whole lot of specifics about "On Golden Pond." The basics of the movie remain with me, though: every year an aging couple returns to the same vacation spot, a house on a lake.
I understand the allure of going to different places. However, I'm more of an "On Golden Pond" guy. Nothing stays the same -- not us, not a place, nothing in the cosmos. So there's always plenty of differentness if we keep our eyes open for it.
Napili Bay changes a lot in a single day. Heck, in just a few minutes. The photo above isn't of lights from across the bay. It's the setting sun being reflected in windows.
Doing the same activities year after year, but for only a few days annually, offers me a free-of-charge Geezerhood Assessment -- not as scientific as a trip to the Mayo Clinic yet personally edifying. Also, satisfying, since so far I've been finding that age hasn't much altered how Napili Bay and I relate.
One day I'll just be an old guy. Not a highly enjoyable thought. Yet the photos above and below were of the sunset a few minutes older. I found these moments even more attractive, how the colors in the sky stood out when the brightness of the sun lessened.
Picking out a rental car at the National lot, a young woman staffing the exit booth asked if she could help me. I was staring at the offerings in the Emerald Club Aisle, where members can choose whichever car they want.
"My wife and I don't travel light," I told her. "Some people come to Maui with a backpack. We come with two giant suitcases, a duffel bag, and a boogie board. So I need a car with quite a bit of space." I heard her chuckle.
A few minutes later, when I pulled up to her booth in a trunk-spacious vehicle, she said, "I laughed when you mentioned people who come to Maui with just a backpack, because that's what I did. No job. No place to stay. I just came. And now I have this job."
"You're young," I told her. "That's what young people do: whatever. If it rains and you don't have a raincoat, you just get wet. No big deal. But my wife and I plan ahead, envisioning what kind of weather Maui might throw at us. So we end up bringing a lot of just in case stuff. Hence, the big suitcases."
I liked talking with the National Car Rental girl. She reminded me of how footloose we are when we're younger, and how, as the years go by, we become increasingly set in our ways.
Part of me envied this twenty-something who could fly off to Maui to live with just a backpack, while my wife and I come to visit with a whole lot more. But, hey, we're us -- three times twenty-something.
Age has its own rewards. LIke finding your Golden Pond, and returning to it year after year, always finding something new in something old.