Imagine a trip within the boundaries of your own country. I would imagine it could not be life changing; too different from the world I have come to know. However, when you step outside the lines of expectation and familiarity, yet still feel a sense of belonging, change is inevitable.
It would be my graduation present, a mother daughter trip to Hawai’i. We would do it all, island hopping from the Big Island to Kaua’i to Maui. It was all incredible, yes. But it was Kauai who captured my heart. I say Kaua’i like he or she is an old friend rather than volcanic island. The kind of friend where the moment you meet them, you know your connection will never be forgotten. Continuing further, this is the kind of friendship you hold so many fond memories of, memories you keep forever. You may never see them again. The growing up, the wear and tear of life is inevitable, but on a rainy day down the road; on any given time you are down or depressed, you can bring up this memory and it will warm your heart and inspire your soul. An eleven mile hike along the Na Pali coast of Kauai to Kalalu beach, with my mother, will always be that old memory.
Me and my mom have always gotten along, but we always lived on the surface of our lives. I would smile and talk about my day, as she would of hers. We could laugh and share great moments, but we never cracked the surface. We never divulged into the abyss that is our true selves. Never spoke of our true feelings, the emotional scars and problems we kept so hidden. It was along that hike we began to truly open ourselves.
With each mile marker we would become more and more tired, but more determined to reach the beach. We let in the beauty of life, the beauty of the trail and the island and the water. It is when you truly let life in, that you can let love in. The trail was lined with beautiful flowers and greenery. The most lush, alive scenery you can imagine. Eleven miles perfumed witht flora, rain-scented air and a salty hint of the ocean. And the sounds. I have a terrible fear of bugs, but when their buzzing mixed with birds singing, the roar of Pacific waves crashing against a rocky coastline, a tropical breeze whispering through the trees, and the occasional patter of passing rain, you forget your fear. Its a strange thing, the magic of the island. You know you have problems in life, things that scare you or make you sad. And yet, you can’t worry about them even if you tried. Its like that old friend who can cheer you up through anything. Another mystery of life I suppose. How a person, or a place can make you feel so at peace.
The entire way, my mom and I bonded. Bonded as good friends, not as mother and daughter, that is. We shared fond memories, funny stories. Yet, it was beyond our surfaces; deeper. There was no wall to get beyond. I could feel no space between her and I, I could feel the openness. My love and her love, the experience…all would flow through our bodies and thoughts together the same. We were two people sharing an experience that changed both of our lives. I have never seen such light in my mothers eyes. I have never seen her smile be so real.
Reaching Kalalau Beach was a rush. We collapsed in the warm sand, exhausted but exhilerated. Staring back at the strenuous coastline we had just hiked, and forward to the ocean and skyline, we knew we would never forget Kalalau Beach, or the journey we took to get there.
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