I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.
I’m on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, surrounded by lush greenery, birdsong, and the gentle breeze of the trade winds. It’s a quieter version of home, really, and arguably I live in a sort of paradise already. But what I was really looking forward to on this trip was being in the moment. Being still.
Most of my life has been spent in a mad dash to get on to the next thing. It was always a moving target, that next thing. And I wasn’t really sure why I was chasing it in the end. I suppose that it got me to a place where I can have nice vacations, but that wasn’t really why I did it. Maybe habit. But most of the time, I wasn’t really living. I mostly stressed and exhausted.
Two years ago, I decided I needed to change that.
It’s hard for me to slow down and be present, but this is the perfect place to practice. When dawn comes with the chatter of birds and the sound of rustling leaves, you listen. And somehow when you take the time to listen, time becomes, like the universe, an ever-expanding entity, and suddenly, hurry makes no sense.
Day begins with the early stirrings of the sun through the slats of the shutters.
The birds sound busy — like they’re rattling off the tasks for the day and urging their little ones along (or maybe I’m just projecting). There’s a lovely variation in their chatter…unlike the roosters. The roosters strut around saying the same thing over and over again (“Making NOI-ses! Making NOI-ses!”), with one leading the chant and the others echoing as if they’re kids at a YMCA summer camp. They’re kind of like the Ryan Lochtes of the island.
We feast on fresh laid eggs brought to us by the owners of the house we rent, and overlook the garden.
A hungry cardinal visits us regularly hoping for scraps.
We take a magical path down to the beach.
Some people get so excited they jump right in with their clothes on.
There are so many beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. They imbibe us and bring us to the present.
I begin to notice the tree roots.
The scale of things.
And the stillness. Be still and know that I am God.
We head back to the house and enjoy a refreshing shower outdoors, surrounded by plumeria and ginger, coral and moss.
Back out to see the sunset.
The rhythmic lapping of the waves a reminder of the eternal cycle at work, that tomorrow will be here at its own pace, moving along in slow ripples of time, slow enough for me to notice.