Magazine article Sunset

New Year, Looser Key

Magazine article Sunset

New Year, Looser Key

Article excerpt

THERE ARE MANY LINES in Kaui Hart Hemmings's essay, "Where Happiness Lives" (page 62), that keep coming back to me. Hemmings tries to answer what makes Hawaii the happiest state in the country. Is it that a natural paradise always waits outside the door? That island life creates a nurturing community? Or that Hawaiians may be, a little bit more than the rest of us, simply just open to happiness?

Hemmings describes a visit with a friend from London: "We were on the beach (yet again), watching the sun sinking toward a ship, the ocean cast in a silvery light. 'Even though you see it every day, you all still seem to appreciate it,' she said. 'You're all still in awe of sunsets.'"

This is the time of year when we resolve to be better (or slimmer or smarter or nicer) people, and being Americans, we are true believers in the second chance. On the first of January, we leap into reinventing ourselves--or, at least, resetting our diets. I generally come up with an add-on to my life: I'm going to read another book a month, or learn to cook with Indian spices. …

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