be grateful to have been given one more day, let alone one more year. remember to dance in your nightgown, sing in the shower, ride a bike, fly a kite and take an occasional “wind bath” in your bare skin. give those you love big kisses and huge hugs, and the words “i love you” often and always. nurture your body rather than starve your soul with fad dieting. spend time with the old and the weary to better appreciate your life. on your birthday, call your mother and father wherever they are to thank them for all the have done for you, even if you think they haven’t done enough. watch “life is beautiful” at least once a year. remember you are not guaranteed tomorrow and that today is as good as it gets. thank god for every “thing,” every “day,” every moment.

philosophy.

precious

i’m still here. i can still feel the cold air on my face as i drive, in the night, with the window down. i can still smell the fabric softener on my jumper that reminds me just how much i’m loved. i can still see the faces of my family every day, hug them, tell them i love them. and i can still take them for granted, every day. stupid me.

sitting there this afternoon, hearing the sobs and watching the tears stream down innocent faces, the dry eyes of the stoic, too, i thought about my own family. mum sitting to my right, dad another seat over. the boys, my brothers always there and always strong, and their girls. my grandparents. my aunty, uncle. my cousins: the girls who worry me most. their little hearts, broken. 

she said her only reason for living, was them. those girls, too young to have to know this. too young to have this experience. 

my friend rhiannon told me, sometimes people are stuck in their bodies here, and only after passing can they truly be free. so now, she is free. may she rest, peacefully, in a life more like the one she should have had on earth.

it’s too true, death puts life into perspective. i don’t know what i would do if…i don’t know what i would do. so it’s not something you think about day to day. you live and you make a life and you do what you love and you appreciate everything, everyone. 

death is sad. but it happens. the only thing we can do is live. with truth, with dignity, with vigour. with love for all the beauty surrounding us.

greenery

road to hana, you were so much more than i thought you would be.

green, green, green. everywhere. but not typical. forests of bamboo, tall, dense, green. rocks on the side of the road growing moss, green. ferns growing up the side of steep cliff faces, green. trees and shrubs and grasses, all green.

the road was windy. but i didn’t get sick. there was too much to look at, too much to take in. waterfalls seemed like movies, the ocean reminded me of a 90s photograph. rough, angry, choppy seas, ravaging waves onto rocks and bursting in all directions. rocks everywhere: volcanic rock, pebbles, stones, pieces of maui. red sand beach, black sand beach. hiking, climbing, scratching, bruising, sweating, looking, thinking, taking it all in. 

it was probably too much. too much for my over thinking brain.

coconut glen, the vegan ice cream man, selling by the side of the road. coconut, chocolate and chipotle; coconut curry; coconut and liliko’i; soon to come again: avocado and pistachio; saving tips to buy an ice cream truck. go coconut glen.

i can’t say much more. it’s overwhelming, stunning, straight from a movie. i never fathomed places like these actually existed. i have seen stunning scenery before, but this was an absolute experience. the whole day my hub for discovery in every tiny moment.

and on the way home, i thought about the places we didn’t see, the forest and paths made from animals, locals, or not carved at all; the secret spots, the untouched areas. there is so much we don’t know. exploration is intriguing, but at what point can you be satisfied in saying i have discovered enough i am ready to stop looking? hana pushed this thought for me. at no point of the day was i ready to stop seeing things. anything. everything. and appreciating it all for what it is. 

it didn’t matter that i wasn’t too fond of the rocky beaches, or the waves in the ocean made it too dangerous for swimming. i never questioned the beauty within itself. different didn’t mean i didn’t like it.

i asked myself why i was doing this – the whole trip, i mean (hana the catalyst for the question posed). is it something i actually want to do for me, for the experience, to help me grow and learn and become a more open minded person? or was it to say that i have done it. i have conquered and discovered and explored that part of the world. my answer is most definitely both. i am learning and growing and i am ticking things off my bucket list. after all, you only get one shot.

green, ocean, waterfalls, beauty in everything. the road to hana definitely pulled on my life strings. i can’t wait to go back and discover something new. see it with learned eyes. appreciate it all over again. 

at some point in your life. get there.

though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

ralph waldo emerson