Monday, November 2, 2009

Splendor in the Tropics

A little while ago, on my way back from town, I saw something that I’ve never seen, and didn’t even know existed. Straight ahead, on the land itself, just below the horizon, was a fat, flat rainbow. Not a bit of curve to it, it lay stretched from a spot far on one side of the road to a spot far on the other side, and I was driving straight toward it. It had all the colors, in all the same order, just wider, and prone; like it had collapsed in the middle into a long, drawn out rectangle. I was spellbound, and when I could shut my gaping mouth, all I could say was WHOA and then WOW... Unbelievable... Thank you very much. That, plus two “regular” rainbows put a much needed positive spin on the last twenty-four hours; yesterday's trip to the ER, and the current drive from the drug store where I had to pick up a prescription for antibiotics to treat a week-old bee sting site that has become infected with staph. (And which, btw, will increase my "be sure to stay out of the sun" photosensitivity, thank you very much, now dead bee. Oh, and I hope the sweet pharmacist didn't take my incredulous look too personally.)

It seems to be a day for natural splendor. I woke up before five to an incredible full moon lighting the cloudless, not-yet-dawn sky. The brightest, clearest I’ve ever seen, I was “moonstruck,” and drawn, for the first time, to the beach before daybreak. There it hung, as though lit from within, maybe thirty degrees above the horizon, casting its reflection, like a setting sun, on the dark ocean. I was hoping for a night rainbow (they do happen, in just the right conditions) but even without it, it was so pretty. At one point, as the moon was nearing the horizon, the sun, still below the eastern ledge, sent its first rays over the land, subtly painting the clouds that surrounded the moon. Here’s a picture—not great, because I don’t have a tripod to hold the camera still shooting in diminished light—but you can get the idea.

Full moon setting. This full moon is in Taurus, the quintessential and most sensuous of the "earth" signs. Ruled by Venus, who loved beauty - no wonder nature's putting on such a gorgeous display!

The moon disappeared, and the sun was suddenly there, creating a “cloud bow" (look for it in the picture below), and then illuminating the frothy breaking waves.

The color of the water was like someone had mixed deep emerald green with vibrant turquoise; and the way the waves were collapsing, between the swells, created a surface that looked as though it was topped with yards and yards of delicate, old-fashionied white lace.

And speaking of splendor: just as Dixie Maru has become the place for serenity and relaxation, at high surf, the Kaiaka Point side Kepuhi Beach is where I go if I simply want to stand in awe of Mother Nature. Just a few miles from the calm, demure Dixie, surf breaks there in a way I have never in my life witnessed. Waves don’t roll in, curve politely, or simply break on the shore, they hurl themselves onto land. Again, and again, and again, pounding and then pulling so hard, they strip the sand clean off the beach. Standing there, waves over my head breaking right at shoreline, some of them climbing three-quarters of the way up the rock point, the roar is deafening, like someone has thrown sticks of dynamite into the oncoming surf. Though I’m always careful to keep a safe distance (for my camera, if not for myself!), even so, there are times that the impulse to turn and run is nearly overwhelming. Every second or third set is so wild, so raw, so chaotic and powerful it is breathtaking. Though still shots, without the sound, the smell, the vibration of the sand beneath my feet can't begin to really show it, still, here are a few, of another one of my absolute favorite places to be. The force of it, especially in such contrast to the serenity of Dixie Maru, just down the road, is amazing.

Three weeks from today I'll be on a plane heading home. In some ways it's gone quickly, in other ways, it seems like I've been here a long, long time. "Home" and my life there seems like a very distant and remote memory, and one that, in spite of my best intentions, there is much trepidation about entering again. I was so sad when I left; sad and cut loose from my moorings, drifting on a new, unexpected, and not all together comfortable sea; my tiny boat often swamped and capsized, me thrown to the mercy of the wild seas. I truly have no idea what to expect when I return, and the questions, the worries, sometimes weasel their way in and start to itch. What if... what if... what if... Exhausting. And yet, there are many moments here, especially when relaxing at Dixie, or mouth agape at Kepuhi or a "roadbow," every morning when the first bird sings, when I am so moved by nature, feel her so inside me, that the mind is stilled and I go completely calm, serene in the knowing that all is well, and will be well.

I love that I am drawn to both equally, the calm seas where I can float and relax and just be held, and to the grand, wild seas where the creation is still very much alive and on-going. What a metaphor for life. And of course, it's easy to enjoy both since I'm merely an observer in this particular sea/land drama! One of the great teachers of India used to say that the minute there is a preference for calm water over stormy, you're already out of the ocean. It's not lost on me that the moment the worry, the anxiety, the disappointment come about going home, I'm tossed like a rag doll to the shore. How I'd love to not even think about it. How I'd love to trust implicitly that what comes next will be exactly what needs to come next. There are those moments, and I love them, when that trust in life and life's process and journey are right there, open and inviting, like the hot sun peeking assertively through a much needed break in the clouds.

Ah, so many preferences! Such tricky business, this spiritual growth stuff.

(And P.S., as if all of this natural beauty wasn't enough to completely lift my spirits - and it was - I was lucky enough to have a close encounter at the drug store with Moloka'i's own Lono, Old Style Hawaiian musician extraordinaire that I've previously written about! A definite, adorable cutie patoodie. ;))

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

With aloha, from Moloka'i

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