So many times on this trip Robb and Iooked at each other and said - "wow; the beauty, the marvel, the majesty of this place". We also were continually shocked at how things serendipitously just fell into place while we were here. We came to Hawaii with absolutely no agenda; no travel books; no "must see" or "must do" plans. We came to Hawaii and let go of expectations and outcomes, and Hawaii came to us. As we drove back to our home away from home last night after the most spectacular sunset I have EVER seen, we marvelled at the ground we had covered on this island, the new friends we have made in our air bnb hosts, and all of the lovely sights, sounds, smells and experiences that unfolded before our eyes - like the island was rolling out the red carpet for us. Breathe. Play. Rest. Laugh. Enjoy. Share. Love. I woke up this morning and just meditated on our adventure; overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to travel to paradise, to meet new people, to embrace a beautiful culture, to feel the sun on my face, the sand in my toes, the lush tropical warmth surrounding me.
How can I take this experience home with me? I think about the possibility of just "letting go" in our day to day lives - the lives so meticulously scheduled and regimented and planned - most days filled to the brim with activity, work, play, life. How can we take a little bit of this relaxed spirit back to the mainland with us? Can we remember to look around at the beauty that is everywhere? Can we share a sunset (me, Robb and the iPhone) on most days? (I have never taken so many photos of a sunset before.....) I have felt more inspired to write and create than ever before while here, Robb has been lulling himself to sleep every night scrolling through art images on his computer; I know he is anxious to get to his painting as soon as we return. A new outlook comes with truly getting away. Vacation is not a luxury, it is a necessity. We live in a hurried world, a world where we often don't feel like we have the time to sit and listen and reflect and create and breathe. When we step away from our "reality" - we see possibility and we feel limitless.
One of the highlights of our trip was a 2 am wake up call and a bus ride to the top of Haleakala - a dormant volcano 10,000 feet high. The early wake up is to ensure a view of the sunrise over the volcano; a truly awe inspiring experience. The clouds roll over the lip of the volcanic surface and the orange/pink/red sun slowly comes through these clouds to create an other worldly view. It feels like being on top of the world and bathing in a rainbow of color and light. We chose the option of biking down the mountain post sunrise; 26 miles down. This distance sounds daunting, but remember - it's all downhill. One would think going all downhill would be very easy, but there are moments you feel like you are flying and moments you are gripping the brakes thinking "what the hell am I doing? I could just fly off the side of this mountain with one wrong move of the handlebars". This ecstasy/fear combination is an interesting metaphor for life. You only enjoy the ride if you let go and take each curve as it comes your way. You can't anticipate the next hairpin turn, the speed you may gather at any given point, or even something in your way in the road. IF you are too busy putting on the brakes, you never reach peak potential. You just have to take it as it comes, one obstacle or fear at a time, and let go. Then, you feel the breeze blowing your hair in the wind. Then, you smell the eucalyptus from the giant trees all around you. Then, you see the ocean stretched out below. Then, you feel the sun on your face. In that moment, all is just as it should be, and all is well.
If we had planned and overthought every aspect of our trip, we would have missed SO much. We wouldn't have happened upon the lovely little mexican restaurant right on the water in Lahaina, we wouldn't have had the passionfruit smoothie when we took a wrong turn, we wouldn't have discovered the little beach right next to the airport where we watched kite surfers compete, we wouldn't have enjoyed bananas foster with our lovely hosts, Sally and Brian, we wouldn't have ventured onto that part of the island they tell you aren't allowed to drive rental cars on (one lane roads on a cliff most of the way - the most spectacular views of all), we wouldn't have enjoyed this tremendous overwhelming FREEDOM that comes from letting go.
This is the Hawaiian word for "let go" or "release". Thank you Hawaii. This is what I'm taking home with me.