I cannot describe my connection to the islands but I have one. For over ten years of my life I have always been coming and going from islands. They call to me almost as if I have some special relationship with them. It is not only the Hawaiian islands but literally islands all over the world. I have traveled to every sea and many many clusters of islands that touch my heart. Maui will always have a very special place in my heart as it was the first place I took a leap in life and felt healed by her. I know that sounds silly but those who have experienced it will get it those who have not well let me tell you it is a pretty magical experience and places do hold certain energetic powers.
As for me and Hana, Maui it was another day on my journey there to calm my heart and soul. I was visiting my favorite spots when I got hungry and decided to walk to the little Thai restaurant. It was not a restaurant by most standards but a little tent and a few plastic tables scattered here and there. It was my favorite place in Hana mostly because of the people who ran and owned it. It was a mother – daughter team that made some of the best Pad Thai I ever had.
I was sitting enjoying my Pad Thai writing as usual. I used to write so much I thought my hand would fall off. Writing is how I process so it’s just what I did. I was jotting down some thoughts and observations when a strange man walked in. I glanced up at him and noticed his bandana wrapped around his headed tightly popping his grey hairs up and over it. He wore thick heavy black glasses and was dressed like Willie Nelson. In fact, he resembled Willie Nelson though he was a little thicker.
Our eyes caught each others and he flashed a smile. I smiled back and I guess he just felt comfortable with me because he walked over to my table, pulled up a chair and said, “I know you from somewhere may I sit down”. I was one hundred percent positive I did not know this man from anywhere but he seemed harmless and well it would be nice to share lunch together I thought.
He ordered his meal and we talked. We talked about everything from his travels to his family. I learned he lived alone and had just been traveling most of his life but that Hana was where he considered home. He looked me square in the eye and said, “I’m glad you are back! I’ve missed you!” I really had no idea what he was talking about but I do get that a lot. I tend to remind people of folks in their past. I just smiled at him probably looking a little uncomfortable. He said, “By the way my name is Michael!”. I reached out my hand to shake his and said, “It’s a pleasure meeting you!”.
Michael finished his lunch and very forwardly said, “I feel comfortable with you. Will you come to my home? I would like to show you something.” Now, please know that I would never do this if I did not feel at ease. I felt very at ease with him and so we carried on our journey together to his home. I hopped in his truck and he drove me off to his place. These are the things I never tell my parents because well they would get angry or tell me I was stupid. AND maybe I was stupid and maybe I should not have talked with most of the people in my life I talked with but I just felt ok and that it was right.
We arrived at his home and it was HUGE. It was a maze of a home and was adorned by all of MIchael’s travels and the people he met. He had so many eclectic photos strewn all over the walls it was hard to focus. One area was dedicated to his African friends, as he called them. He loved Africa and had apparently made friends with a tribe there who took him in as family. He had photos with them sitting by the fire, some in the forest and just general smile and say cheese photos with him and a bunch of scantly clad men and women.
I never asked Michael what he did I just observed that he traveled and loved these people he surrounded himself with on his walls. He said, “So this is not what I wanted to show you. What I want to show you is out here. Will you come with me?” I followed him as he led me through the dusty hallway out the door. We walked on a dilapidated brick walkway which led to a grass path. This was groomed like a theme park. The entrance of this space started out with high grass and we walked through the perfectly mowed path entering into a magical land of all kind of tropical flowers and plants. It was like a movie. I felt like I was transported into some kind of magical fairy land. I just stood and gasped for air it was so beautiful. He giggled at me and said, “Wait there is more”.
We continued winding around and came to the end of the little peninsula where there were two hammocks swinging in the breeze tied around four trees. He pointed and said, “After you!”. I climbed into the hammock and he climbed into his. We actually did not speak. I think I was so overwhelmed sensory wise that I could not speak and I believe he was just letting me have my experience. After about fifteen minutes of silence I asked, “What is this place?”. He said, “It’s my escape.” I asked, “Why are you sharing it with me?” He said, “You were supposed to see this and experience this.”
We swung in silence just listening to the waves crashing up against the rocks. I gazed out onto the horizon. It never ended. Water and sun met as the sun started setting. Michael said, “We should probably go now.” We stood up and gazed out at the ocean together. I said, “Michael what is the point of all this?”. He questioned, “The point of all what?”. I said, “Life.”. He said, “My dear, THIS IS THE POINT! This moment, this beauty, this experience.”.
I lost contact with Michael after that. I am not sure if he is still traveling around meeting with his tribal friends or if he is laying in his hammock or maybe he left this earth. What I am grateful for is him sharing his day with me, him sharing a piece of his life with me and him sharing that very powerful statement with me. It has stayed in my brain the entire time…..THAT THIS IS THE POINT.
This moment, this experience, this person, this place…..THIS IS THE POINT.
I try to live this way. I try to be as present as possible now in life. I still struggle, I believe we all do. But, I do know that I no longer really question life or why we are here or what I am supposed to be doing or if I have a purpose. My purpose, my life, my reason for being here is wherever I am, whatever I am doing and whomever I am with in any and every moment. Anything other than that is my brain trying to figure it out, struggle from my past or worry about my future. And so I try as much as possible to BREATHE and remember THIS IS THE POINT!