We are just back from a week in Maui, Hawaii, with our son, his wife, the world’s best grandbaby, the baby’s other grandmother, a friend who spent eight years off the grid, a man who develops software, a clinical psychologist, a salesperson and a clinical microbiologist whose mobile phone cover was a furry rabbit complete with floppy ears. It was quite the cast of people.
For someone who didn’t especially want to go to Hawaii, I now must eat my words.
If you can stand the 10-hour flight, it is incredibly worth it. I’d always thought of that state as undoubtedly touristy, but we stayed in the historic plantation (I guess pineapples) town of Paia – not many tourists, except us, friendly people and amazing food.
First morning I woke up to bird calls I’ve never heard before and the sound of waves. We rented a 6-bedroom house right at the ocean – a few steps and you were in a cove with a coral reef protecting it.
Apparently, it was sea turtle time, and there were 5-6 of these amazing creatures always there. They sunned themselves and also swam in the waves. One day I walked out to the reef and had a silent conversation with one – ancient looking, wise, completely foreign. It’s one thing to see them on TV, quite another to encounter one.
There are mist-shrouded mountains to climb – a hot hike start that ends in cold clouds, waterfalls and volcanoes. Seafood is incredible, and the coconut beer was good too (don’t hold your nose.)
Back at the house, many conversations were bouncing around ranging from explanations of washing diapers during a Canadian winter in a home without running water or electricity, to the intricacies of patent rewards policies.
Of course, we were all in love with our baby, enjoying his voice echoing our sounds, his small stumbles and his incredible smiles. It was pretty much a lovefest of 6 adults (two adults stayed elsewhere) and one baby. We all went home with good memories – snapshots if you will, of this happy time.
Wow, vacations! Especially with family – peaceful baby sleepily sprawled against my lap, sucking on a handy finger, lounging with complete trust, peace and abandonment.
Those inner-species moments eye-to-eye with the sea turtles, pausing while hiking to the summit of the Haleakala Volcano – meditative because it’s a sacred place to the Hawaiians, and also, it’s 10,000 feet up at the top. Wonderful moments, snapshots of a possible life, a life we can see because we’re away from our daily routines and are open to the generosity of life.
Home now, I softly blow on my memories of this available life, wrapping a cozy blanket around it. I attempt to remember all that beauty – reminding myself that many travel to Tennessee to see a different beauty. As the song says, I’m going to try to “hold on to what we’ve got; don’t let go till we’ve got a lot, got a lotta love between us; hold on, hold on, hold on, to what we’ve got.” (song written by Denny Randell and Bob Crewe)
Hope you enjoy these photos from our trip!