When I wrote this first line of SINS OF THE HEART, I wasn't thinking of Earth Day, nor that the release would come at a time when the whole world was becoming conscious of the rapidly growing damage and danger to our planet. But here we are.
Release Day for SINS is next Tuesday, April 28. It seems appropriate for Earth Day, so I thought I'd do a contest to increase awareness and promote the cause of our beautiful planet. Let's begin by sharing our love for it.
We'll take it over several weeks, showing up to six photos you send me every Tuesday. Today, to begin, I'm showing you a few of the places on earth that are most beautiful in my heart. Most I've visited myself, but some, like the Coast of Cornwall I've seen only in pictures and my imagination.
I thought about having everyone vote for the favorite place, but instead I think I'd like for you to show us your photo, tell us why the place is so special for you in a sentence or two, and then maybe give us a sentence or two to tell how you think this beautiful place would be affected by global warming, pollution, over-population or other negative events in the future. I know sometimes photos don't come out nearly as wonderful as the sight we remember, but that's okay. Or you may have something that only very narrowly shows the place- perhaps like one I have of an orchid blooming at the edge of a very dim volcanic crater on a very overcast day. No one else would have the memories I have of the vastness of the Halema'uma'u Crater, but I can tell you about it. Just show us your favorite and I promise we'll understand.
Beach on North Kaua'i
Another thing you can do is to go sign this petition sent to me by Al Gore:
If it doesn't suit your politics, I understand. But if you make a comment and mention that you signed it, I'll give you extra points toward the drawing. Also submitting photos will give you points. And general comments will too.
Dorothy Vernon's Bridge, Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, England
But what will be the prize? Well, that's why I'm late posting today- I'm trying to figure that out. You see, in June I'm going to my most beautiful place on earth, Hawaii, and I thought it would be cool to bring back something from there. But I can't figure out what it would be.
That's where you come in. What do you think would be a cool prize? Not a string of Tahitian black pearls, please. I'm either a cheap traveler or a no-traveler. There's nothing in between. But there are lots of wonderful things to be had that are a bit better than a day-glo Hawaii key chain.
1. A pound of the most wonderful Kona coffee anywhere- and contrary to malicious rumors, it is not bitter, but wonderfully smooth. It comes from a little restaurant over a famous coffee plantation on the cliffs above Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island. I will not set foot on the Big Island without going there.
2. A hand printed pareo. There are hundreds of these all over every island, and they are magnificent, and although most probably are not made in Hawaii, they are truly beautiful. I have one in a deep green and black print, which I bought on the shores of Kealakekua Bay years ago. They come in many colors, and all kinds of prints.
3. A palm frond hat, or woven bowl or basket. I'd get this in the street market in Hilo, I'd think. Or maybe a child's Hawaiian dress.
4. A small tiki.
5. A beautiful, semi-rare sea shell (perhaps a trident or conch or giant cowrie)
Caribbean Sea from Tulum, Mexico
6. A grow-it-yourself orchid or plumeria, or wild ginger. These come in packages all ready for you to start and grow yourself.
Is there something else you'd like to see as a prize? Tell me and I'll add it to the list. Maybe the winner will have a chance to pick one from the list. And then when we go to the Islands of Hawaii and Oahu June 4th through 13th, I'll have a lot of fun shopping for the prize.
I'll tell you more on Tuesday- I've got a lot more thinking to do about this. But for now, you can tell me what you'd like. And you can start sending me photos right away.