Gathering Place // O’ahu

It was the most unprepared I’d been for a trip, and a big part of me wished I could simply sleep in the next day. It had been a long, hard week of work, goodbyes, and change. I wanted to hide under the covers. Instead, I stayed awake until two a.m. packing, cleaning etc.

Five a.m. came too quickly, but at last the natural excitement that travel usually ignites in me, started to flame. Once in my seat though, I dozed off for a few hours, the lack of sleep winning over the enthusiasm.

On waking, the view from the tiny, misplaced airplane window became slowly, more and more spectacular: small peaks of azure and teals were seen between clouds. Soon, the island was in view with its sharp ranges and jagged sand shores. Small whitecaps of waves kissed the shoreline. Finally, from that sight, I knew it was right, to be right here.

No one welcomed me at the airport, I flew in alone, I traveled alone.  The movies ruined my expectations of what the Hawaii airport welcome would be: part of me expected to receive a Lei, and a kiss on the cheek.  Instead I walked out, into the moist heat and took a shuttle to my rental. “Economy”  is not a misfit name for this company. I got a teeny cobalt blue fiat and I drove around, feeling very adult and sophisticated, driving myself around the island. You would think I would  drive to the beach right away, but instead I decided to find a cafe, to finish up some work,and try not to fall asleep.

Eventually, I  did end up at the ocean, the colors I had seen from above were no less breath taking up close. The water was warm, and I could already feel the sun’s heat on my face. Finally, I met up with a friend from years ago, and over island cocktails and sandy feet we laughed that this would be our reconnecting point. I went to bed later than I expected, happy to have stayed up the extra time, and slept the dreamless, heavy sleep that only comes when you are exhausted.

My brain was on pacific time still and being forewarned that you may wake up at 4 am, is not as preparing to the mind as one would think. And so there I was Sunday morning, trying to make my body sleep some more, even though my brain knew it was really seven. reluctantly I got up and read my Kauai book. Finally, it dawned on me (quite appropriately) that I was up with enough time to see the sunrise. I rushed about the room getting ready.

The moon was almost full and starting to set as I walked briskly, in my excitement, to my blue car along the Ala Wai canal where silver reflections of moonlight glimmered on the water. The city was quiet, and I felt safe within this quietness.

I drove winding roads over Diamond Head, toward Sandy Beach park. But stopped once along the way at a view point since the sun was already rising.  There were others looking on, from there, it was beautiful to see it over the water like that. And then almost simultaneously, and in the opposite direction the moon was setting, behind the hills–I pointed it out to the strangers behind me ( who thought perhaps I was crazy) .

The rose colors created by the sunrise, made a glowing back drop to the pearly moon. Sometimes, we let something beautiful set, to let something beautiful rise, I thought.

So, here I am, I said, ready to let go, to embrace, to jump, to rest, to fight, to learn.




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