Yin Brown Pig—Happy New Year!

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Story by Diane Haynes Woodburn

DianeBy the time you read this, we will be well into the New Year, with a big kiss goodbye to 2018 and opened arms to 2019. Wide open—it’s Year of the Pig.

In Hawai‘i, we are blessed with many cultures, including Chinese. And there is no time more festive in the Islands than Chinese New Year (February 5, 2019). Dancing lions, drums, gongs, and fireworks will bring in Year of the Yin Brown Earth Pig with a bang. (See how you can join the festivities on page 18.) Yin means the year is feminine. And although a female porcine figure may sound less than auspicious to a western ear, Year of the Pig promises to be filled with benevolence, love, and generosity. My kind of girl.

The Chinese lunar calendar is organized by cycles of twelve years, a zodiac sign for each year. Pig is the last, completing a full rotation of the zodiac cycle. That makes Year of the Pig a time for calm reflection of the past 11 years. And, according to ChineseFortuneCalendar.com, it is a period of joy and relaxation when tensions and conflicts lose momentum . . . perhaps even disappear.

If less tension is one of your goals, you’ve opened up the right issue of Maui Nō Ka Oi. Our annual Luxury Issue will guide you to the most wonderful spas on Maui (perhaps in the world) celebrating new and innovative methods to pamper and restore you. No need to wait for a sign, we’ll lead you right to it. Or, explore the sensation of total luxury in our featured home, a Kapalua seaside estate boasting 270 degrees of coastal view, complete with its own lighthouse. The south side more your style? Follow Lehia Apana on her “Perfect Day” luxuriating in Wailea, and end with dining editor Becky Speere’s recommendation for a deliciously romantic dinner at Nick’s. Definitely a recipe for relaxation.

Of course, luxury, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. In honor of Brown Pig’s message of benevolence, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to “A Job Well Done” by Sarah Ruppenthal. Sarah takes us inside Ka Lima O Maui, a nonprofit organization that helps men and women with disabilities find training and employment. For clients at Ka Lima, luxury is the joy of a job well done, and the independence that comes with it. Learn how you can help, starting on page 52.

My favorite story of the issue is also the smallest, and celebrates the fine art of survival, perhaps the truest luxury of all. Shannon Wianecki writes poetically about ‘aki‘aki, an indigenous grass that clings to Maui shores, running and lacing its long, green fingers into the soft sand, effectively holding it tight against the oncoming wind and sea that threaten daily to steal it away.

Holding tight against the tide is something many of us have had to face and endure. Many others still fight to make a living wage, support their families, and provide a better life for their children. Last night, my husband and I had the privilege of serving Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter on Maui. It may have been the best Thanksgiving ever, as we shared the evening cooking with friends, and sharing a true feast with more than 100 smiling faces—a luxury I will never forget.

None of us can see into the future. But if we follow the advice of the Chinese calendar and use this year to reflect on our last eleven years, my heartfelt response is . . . mahalo.

Thank you for allowing us to share the stories we treasure with you.

Wishing you a new year filled with benevolence, love and generosity.

With appreciation,
Diane Haynes Woodburn, Publisher

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