Beauty in Maui
There’s something about the wind that makes me feel more alive. Maybe it’s the tiny matter being picked up and transferred from place to place. Maybe it’s the feeling of starting anew. The old getting blown away and the new finding a fresh place to land. It could be the spiritual essence I feel – Mother Nature and her mind stirring up something clever.
The ounce of regret that summer is over but the hope of anew leaf. Branches shaving away their past and letting their beings fall swiftly before them to the hard ground. The air seems cooler, while the days grow shorter. It’s such a cyclical process – a metaphor for life. We sit in a season, hanging on to the moments that ripely exist, but foresee the approaching shadows of what is to come next. Are we ever really completely here? Who is here? Or what are we doing here? Always on the brink of knowing that “something” is next and “something” has happened.
My days before my departure for the Peace Corps are trickling in quickly but quietly. Sunrise by sunset, March of 2014 is approaching faster than snowfall in late December. I have disabled my normal “alert” reaction to most situations – simply to live in these precious moments I have before I embark on this journey. I haven’t built expectations or apprehensions about much of anything. I’m finding myself more at ease than I could have ever imagined. Maybe it’s the confidence I have built in the past year. Or maybe it’s the crisp air that spooks me on my mid afternoon walks that has inspired me to be more comfortable with my lonliness – or being alone; depends on perspective.
I have decided to indulge in a pre cursor to my journey in Costa Rica. Settling into an unfamilar yet exciting adventure in Maui, Hawaii. I’ve found peace with the nature here, and never felt so welcomed with aloha spirit.
The ocean used to scare me-all of the unknown beneath me and not being able to see the “end.” Now, I’m seeing this is a metaphor for struggles in my life. Sometimes you just have to jump. Jump into the deep blue without knowing what’s 5 feet in front of you. I went snorkeling deep out in the ocean last week and literally could not see anything but blue ocean and tiny neon matter through my snorkel mask. It scared me, but it reminded me of how small I really am on this earth. Sometimes things seem so important and we allow ourselves to be consumed by thoughts or worries, but we forget that life and this moment are bigger than a spiraling thought.
In Tahoe, I felt so comfortable seeing the other side of the lake; always knowing where the water met the shore. Here in Maui, I’m in one of the most isolated island chains in the world. There is no certainty of what is beyond 80 miles in front of me. How liberating is that?! I’ve always said that being comfortable is one of the worst things you could ever do to yourself. Step away from the shore, in to the unknown and let the waves take you away.
Although I feel as though time is closing in, I feel content and excited about the steps in front of me. Mother nature has allowed me to see her cyclical way of life and her constant way of moving. She’s never sitting still. Her trees are shedding their summer blooms, her wind is growing louder, and her tide is getting higher. I intend to follow her lead, to stay constant and to stay very alive. When I put my toes in the sand here in Maui I can feel the gravity and ocean pulling me out- “come here Aimee, it’s time to adventure,” I imagine she says.
At night we look to the stars for guidance. Hoping ol’ Orion’s Belt will lead our hearts back to a familiar place. I reminisce how my best friend and I would lay our heads on the pier, gazing from the first star to the hundredth we saw. As I camped beneath the stars in Hana, HI last week, one of the most beautiful and spiritual places I’ve been, I felt the stars holding me together and shining a light of guidance on my path – Knowing my friends and family around the world are sharing the same sky. These evenings, I look for the moon but it’s lost in the glimmer. But then I remember, the moon only a sliver, and the stars receive their moment to shine. The moon, a gentleman, tucks himself away so his friends can be heard. He’ll be back when it’s his time. Patience at his best. Mother nature never fails us in her imitation of our realities.
Here’s to a new adventure. Another journey. Living with nature. And finding peace amidst it all! Aloha!