Tandem bicycling and crowd-pleasing tandem flight

29 09 2012

Six Blue Angels—count ’em!

Our tandem bicycle was the perfect transportation to get to the airshow at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii today. With the wheels off, it fits nicely into our 2004 Prius. DH parked the car at our friends’ place near Kalaheo High School, and we rode straight down Mokapu Boulevard and Mokapu Road to the back gate where the guard waved us in. We got to and from the event site on two wheels faster than a car or bus.

The highlight and finalé, of course, was The Blue Angels. Lots of spectators, lots of types of aircraft, lots of attractions, a line up of Taste of Oahu food vendors—and friends to share it with—made for an enjoyable day.

The Blue Angels entertain the public at today’s airshow, taking off from the Marine base and flying acrobatics over Mokapu and Kaneohe Bay.

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

Flowing like water

28 08 2009

I visited the People’s Republic of China twice, once in 1978 with my father on a special cultural tour from Honolulu, and again in 2005 with my Sunset foodie friend on, what else?, a custom eating tour! Like all first-time visitors to China, we were impressed by the modes of transportation, the humongous population, and the bad traffic in the cities.

In 1978 the people traveled by one-speed bicycle, I recall. Valerie of our group arranged to meet relatives of friends outside the Friendship Store where only tourists were allowed to shop, and where the goods were of export quality. They gave her some money, she went inside, and in a few minutes she emerged wheeling a brand new bicycle. The family was overjoyed and so grateful. It was like getting a new car, I guess, or, perhaps greater, getting one’s first car. At that time, even if I knew how to ride a bike, I don’t think I would have, for fear of getting smooshed or yelled at in Chinese in the peloton. Except unlike a peloton, the Chinese didn’t seem quite as orderly, so how would I merge into the traffic in the first place? Let’s just say all those bicycles were awe inspiring.

In 2005, things had changed, of course. Capitalism and automobiles had arrived. Not as many bicycles—although still enough for darling husband’s jaw to drop. Like describing the ocean surf, I informed, “You should have been here when”— and where were all the people? Answer: In their cars! We were chauffeured by bus with a good view of the traffic below, and all we could think of was, yikes! so many first-time drivers! Some of our travel mates/side-seat drivers actually closed their eyes. In China, it seemed, there was no regard for lines or arrows on the street. No one really stopped or reduced speed. My heart skipped a beat when the tourist bicycle rickshaw we were in crossed in front of a bus.

China traffic

All types of transportation are mixed up together: cars, trucks, bicycles, taxis, carts, motorbikes, three-wheel minis, rickshaws, pedestrians, you-name-it. The amazing thing is, we never witnessed a crack-up. Traffic there is like water. It just flows. How do they do it?

A better question is, why? I think it has to do with the practice of qigong. Masters of the art taught just a few others in ancient China, passing it down from generation to generation, but back then qigong was somewhat of a mystery.  Since the mid 1950s qigong and tai chi forms have been practiced widely by the Chinese. The Communist government endorsed it for health and healing. In 1978 I watched young and old alike in parks of the places we visited as they engaged in the slow moves of this exercise. Their hands, arms, legs, feet, and entire bodies moved gracefully and at a steady tempo, one movement flowing into the next as they replenished stale energy with fresh energy.

I started practicing tai chi and qigong (“chi” or “qi” are the same words meaning life force energy) with the WCC Tai Chi Class only a few years ago. It’s the same energy as the “ki” in Reiki that I do for others and myself. My understanding expanded when I read about qigong in a book my cousin gifted me. There is a way to heal, harmonize, and balance one’s mind, body, spirit, and emotions. There is a way to remove blockages and have your energy flow like water for your highest good. The technique is available to anyone. Anyone can learn to do it, provided they have an open mind and are willing to receive. As a Reiki Master and practitioner, I can show you how. ~ Rebekah

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke

For more on Reiki, click on Reiki Healing by Oelen on the menu bar. From now through November, we are open for Reiki Fridays.

Suggested reading: Orr, Katherine. Beautiful Heart, Beautiful Spirit Shing-Ling-Mei Wudang Qigong. Kaneohe: DragonGate Publishing, 2005. ISBN 978-0-9765178-0-1

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