Current location: Tiny guest house on Papaya Farms Road in Pahoa, the Big Island. A quiet place where I felt at peace.
Today was a leap day of 2020.
The first thought I had today as I opened my eyes: I ought to go out and perform a few challenging hikes in the National Volcanoes Park. Because:
- It’s a nice day outside. Too nice to stay in.
- Renting a car is very expensive here so I should really get on the road and get more miles from the car I’m currently renting to make it more worthwhile.
- To feel good about myself. Doing nothing is too scary: what if I start having weird thoughts or feel lonely???
Instead, I decided to own my day and let myself experience a very laid-back time without having to drive anywhere. What a nice day it turned out to be!
Learning of the day: when I let myself be still, I experience more inner peace.
Mindful activities of the day:
- The most delicious, Hawaii-grown papaya for breakfast!
- Walked to Mermaid Ponds on the mesmerizing old road.
- Took a dip in the refreshing tidal pools and spent the afternoon just sitting on lava rocks and observing the ocean and rolling waves hitting the rocky shores in a splash of a cooling mist. Not a single person in sight, it was only myself, the ocean, the old lava flow, the trees - all wet after the tropical rain - and a presence of something else I cannot quite put into words.
- Mediation: yes for five consecutive days now! Sitting tall in my sun spot, for a brief 10 minutes. My battery has now been recharged and tomorrow I am ready to continue on my journey and hike those volcanoes!!!
- Read a book I found on the bookshelf yesterday and found this quote that really spoke to me:
I choose the feelings I experience, and I deduce
Upon the goal I would achieve.
I ask for, and receive as I have asked.
Teach only Love for that is what you are.
Another strike of serendipity occurred as I was walking back to my guest cottage from the Mermaid Pons after the sunset. It was getting darker so I turned on a flashlight I’d brought with me just in case. Suddenly, I had a gut feeling… or rather a desire… to turn it off and walk amongst ancient trees in the primal darkness without anything artificial. Let the night jungle whisper in my ears and sing the songs of the ones that were before.
After what seemed like less than a minute, I saw a pale shade with large elongated wings flying in a fluid motion across the road right ahead of me. At first I thought I saw a ghost. It was a full grown Hawaiian Owl or Pueo!
I turned on the flashlight to see the bird better. The magnificent grey-white owl turned its head and looked right at me for a split second. Then it spread its wings and disappeared in the darkening jungle. My light must have scared it away. But we’ve made eye contact and in that moment something changed in me. I was no longer afraid to walk in the dark.
Later I learned that Pueo, the short-eared owl, is endemic to the Hawaiian islands. The owl has always been sacred to the people of Hawaii. Up to this day, many Hawaiians have such a strong connection to Pueo that she becomes a kinolau (physical manifestation) of Aumakua (ancestral guardian spirit). Pueo is considered the message carrier from the spirit world, she often represents a visit from an ancestor or angel, your loved ones are right by your side, you are on the right path. “The Bringer of Good Luck.”