Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grape #16: Pilgrimage to Maui: Part 6

Friday, May 25
Three rainbows, three sunsets, one sunrise, the top of Haleakala, and over 130 feet underwater in a submarine later…

As we’ve reached the last leg of our expedition to paradise, our pilgrimage to Maui, the blogs become fewer.  I can see how many views I’ve gotten, and they’re only a handful.  No one’s reading.  It’s normal, shows the attention span we all have when reading online, but is still very much discouraging.  I’ve learned as a writer to write well, write purposefully and with passion no matter how few people are reading along.  The product I create is beautiful in its own way and will always be there, even if it doesn’t have many visitors at the moment.  Most importantly, this pilgrimage to paradise is a special one between God, nature, and me.  I cannot hope to be one with my source if I’m bitching about my readership and response levels!  God doesn’t walk on roads like that, so it’s a waste of my spirit.

The submarine ride was incredible!  I cannot tell you how amazing it is to plunge beneath the waters of the Pacific Ocean and "swim" among so many varieties of fish, coral, even a passing stingray.  Our sub went about a mile out from shore, and there in about 130 feet of water, we watched out big windows as so many sea creatures allowed us to visit them in their natural habitat.  Our host joked that outside the sub's windows, the fish are reminded to not knock on the windows.  We on the sub, he said, were now the creatures inside the aquarium walls, and the fish were watching us!  It was so, so, so cool!

The beautiful nature I’ve seen here cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet.  Sure there are volcanoes and mountains and seas and flowers and even rainbows all over the world, but the type of landscape here, the variety of flowers unique to this land, the particular spirit of the Hawaiian people and all of its flora and fauna cannot be reproduced or rediscovered elsewhere.  So when you visit a place like this, it’s like unlocking a part of your soul you didn’t even know you had, a new part of yourself and your connection to the divine which is a revelation even to the person who holds it.  My spirit is reawakened here with the realization that no matter where I travel, what I see and who I encounter, there are always going to be new lands to see and discover.  My spirit, like yours, is only as open as we let it be, only in bloom as much as we allow it to be, only truly alive when we cast it to the wind and conquer this world’s unknown adventures with every last drop of our heart and soul.

Saturday, May 26
Today Andy and I hiked through Iao Valley, a lush rainforest on Maui’s west side, filled with soaring green pinnacles that wave like the ocean.  Waterfalls and streams are heard and seen all around you, and you feel the inescapable privilege of being in this holy place.  We then headed up the coast to return to one of our favorite spots, Ho’okipa Beach, the windsurfing capital of the world.  It’s a gorgeous spot to watch surfers and windsurfers alike conquer the vicious waves with aplomb.  Just to the north side of this beach are rocks which invite you forward past the fences, so we finally decided to climb down them to the sea.  Their Siren calls were just too much for me, and as I stood among them, blown away by the views around me, I felt the water gently pelting my face like a mother blowing in a child’s ear.  Perfection. 

A day or two earlier we were in an outdoor cafĂ© in upcountry Makawao, where the owner reminded us as a similarly whispy drizzle gently stroked our cheek that it wasn’t drizzling—it was mystifying.  Love that! 

So there we were on the rocks near the surfers of Ho’okipa Beach as it began mystifying gently.  But for the first time on our trip, this mystical, mystifying Maui mist became closer to a not-so-spiritual spritz, and annoyingly so too!  I ran up the rocks and slipped a bit in the dirt, and my sneakers and legs bore the grunt of my escape.  No pain or problem, just inconvenience as I reached the car and knew I needed a shower and sneaker clean once we got back to the condo.  I breathed an exhausted sigh of relief to just be back in the dry car.  But as if Mother Nature knew in that moment that I needed a de-stressing reminder I was in paradise, we received not one but TWO gorgeous rainbows that wrapped from land to land across the horizon as we drove home, the second of which was still visible from the private wrap-around lanai outside our condo. 

It’s 7:48 PM now on Saturday evening, and Andy and I closed the day as we do almost every day, watching the sun set over the Pacific.  Now I’ve gotta tell you. There are very few things that can beat the experience I had a few minutes ago.  I’m standing a foot-deep in the Pacific Ocean of a Maui beach, gazing out at the setting sun as a sailboat slowly goes by.  A cocktail in my hand, I take a generous drink and soak in the beauty in front of me.  Then I look behind me at the beach and see the love of my life looking my way with ANOTHER gorgeous rainbow behind him—the third of the day!  Can you even imagine what that’s like?  Standing in the Pacific, the setting sun behind you, and a rainbow over Maui in front of you??!!  This place is really that magical, that beautiful, that spiritualI am SO blessed to be here, and soaking up every minute I have left!

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