As I look around at the splendor that is Maui, I wonder if the people that live here notice it anymore. I mean, when you wake up and see mountains, ocean, brightly colored flowers and trees and lush foliage everywhere you look - do you still take it in and really appreciate it? On our first full day here, we went on a spectacular hike - the deep greens and blues and reds and orange colors were overwhelming. We met a young Hawaiian man on the hike - native to Maui. He was stopped at a place of particular beauty - deep mountain gorge covered in green; everywhere green - the ocean stretching out below for as far as we could see. He said to us - I have lived here all my life, and sometimes I forget. I forget. I forget how beautiful and amazing this place is; I forget to look around. I’m so glad I’m here today remembering. I’m so glad he is too, and so glad that we are.
I can barely write because my eyes are continually distracted by the beauty. My ears hear the river below me, the birds chirping, the rooster announcing it is 5 am. Who knew? Roosters and chickens everywhere. Mountains meeting the sky; clouds coming and going and draping over the lush mountain tops like blankets. So many details that I don’t want to forget. This is a place of beauty and strength and welcome. Aloha.
I am so grateful to have this week in paradise; a week away from the normal responsibilities of life; a week to breathe deeply, to explore, to go on an adventure, to watch the pink reflection of the sunrise in the clouds over the mountains. To run between the mountains and the ocean through a field of sugarcane. I want to remember just this moment as I stare at a laundry room full of dirty clothes or board an airplane for a work trip. I love this slow pace. I love waking up and stretching and knowing the day is mine. I don’t want to forget. This is something I will take home with me - look around. Notice. BE. There is beauty everywhere - in the mountains, in the ocean, in my own home, in the eyes of my beautiful children, in the warm embrace of the man I love, even in the pile of laundry. The sun is up now; bathing the mountains in bright light, illuminating the crevices and the trees and the clouds above, beckoning me to come out and play.