Just off Front Street, Lahaina comes to life. Not the kind of life found on the street … I’m talking about spots that are void of the congestion and foot traffic. I found the other side of Lahaina seeking refuge from the grunge, overdone retail, stench, street hecklers, etc. etc. Not that some of those things can’t be interesting. To me, Lahaina needs some pressure washing and Frebreze. Hidden Lahaina is closer to the water behind the buildings lining Front Street. Luckily I cam equipped with a camera.
Found in Koke`e State Park this trail winds through a highland forest with occasional ridge top views. It’s all downhill. Let me reiterate … all down hill means all uphill on the return trip. The day I hiked this trail, I carried a 100oz of water, a Canon 7D, tripod, Sony PCM50, etc. a point and shoot Canon with a few other goodies. At 25lbs, the trip became a real workout.
Take the trail outward (toward the end) to the grassy point overlooking the sheer cliffs of Awa`awapuhi and Nualolo valleys resting 2,000 feet below. The option to connect to the Nualolo trail should be taken only by those prepared for a hike over 9 miles long (one-way). Remember there is no water available nor facilities – be prepared.
A little movie played aloud while I slept. Or, I should say – as I attempted to sleep. The ambient noise drowned by the occasional baby crying in the background had me twisting endlessly in my seat. Some thousand miles back, my wife was sitting at the airport. Waiting. Meanwhile, I was afloat along the airwaves bound for our ‘third’ home.
Confusing, I agree. You see, we stepped into the same time machine but the ticket wasn’t punched correctly and she side stepped onto another platform. I realized something important today – this is the very last time I’ll leave my wife behind. Notice I avoided the word never. The last time I used the never word (and I used it emphatically), I moved to Akron, Ohio. In the winter. A prison term or boarding school would have been better options.
Back in the cabin, the movie, “Midnight in Paris” played on. At first I resisted. It felt like a girl movie (a date movie) and I’ve not witnessed a girl movie – well – since last week when MG was at the house and the two girls in my life brought me along for the ride. The movie – oh – the movie. It’s the first movie that Woody Allen has EVER directed that I would watch again. Better yet, add to my personal list of movies that will be offered up in my dead-guy-sale sometime later this century.
The interesting element in the movie revolves around the concept that we’re never satisfied with what we have, the life we lead, the cards we’re dealt, etc. The grass seemingly smells fresher and is a brighter shade in another yard, another era or even another country. Yes, the grass is greener in Hawai’i – trust me – I know.
Willingly I gathered my last bit of forced eye closure and engaged the concept offered by the movie. I found myself cast inside its mix of characters – most of whom are now famous due to literary works, artistic endeavors or philosophical contexts. I continued thinking of my wife – not yet on her plane – not with me. I flogged myself for going – without her.
Watching the movie, I thought about my wife concurrently with what I was seeing and hearing on screen (actually it was a TV). When things were going wrong for the main character, I felt even better about my marriage. Because it’s wonderful. When the fiance was acting up, I thought about how my wife doesn’t do drama. Ever. When the finance was talking about “cheap,” I thought about how my wife doesn’t care what something costs – she cares about what it means.
She appreciates simple.
She loves fun.
Heck, she is fun.
Her charm is only outmatched by her brains and lovely eyes. Yes, I’m waxing some mush, but you see – this movie proved to me something I already know. I found the right person! I caught the right taxi at the right moment – the very taxi that the universe served up. Laugh. Yes, I did too. Cry. Yes, I did too. Without my wife, I’d be a different person and certainly a person who isn’t nearly as happy, sane nor complete.
I affirmed something important today, I don’t hate Paris anymore. It doesn’t mean I’ll visit any time soon. But it did echo what my heart’s been saying for a long while – I love my wife.
Someone asked me this week, “when are you moving to Hawai’i.” My response, “I moved there two years ago.” The quizzical look in response made me laugh with happiness.
Long before you do something, like moving, you go there in the mind. Go there in the mind, you go there in the body. Factually stated, if you can live the experience before you actualize it, then the richness of the experience is heightened. This might sound like a heady day trip, but it is in fact a truthful reality for those that understand the power of visualization. Visualization is about experiencing in the mind the experience.
Last week after stepping out of the shower, I looked around the bathroom with a different lens. The lens was reflecting back what I was thinking, “when did I move to Hawai’i?” I noticed the photos on the wall from various islands, a framed painting of “old” Hawai’i, the watercolor images by the bathtub and the music — all of which were distinctly Hawaiian. My laughter was loud enough that I expected my wife to come in and ask me about it. She obviously didn’t hear me, and that’s ok, I just know that for the remainder of the day I thought about where I live. And it ain’t in Maryville, Tennessee.
Getting there is easy: I listen for the ocean, for doves, and of the sound of the Acaia trees rubbing against one another as the wind moves their branches near the shoreline. I can hear my wife laugh as the bak-bak walk by. I smell the plumeria, the spray from the Pacific, and ahi tuna after it’s been grilled. The texture of green sand is soft and coarse against my feet, and the lava rock sharp and hot against my hands. The colors are vibrant – from the red dirt that coats the Jeep to the redness of the hibiscus. All of this is powerful. All of the imagery, sounds, smells, texture – evoke a sense of being in the space.
Go there in the mind. You go there in the body.
Recently I was asked, “where are the people? I thought Hawai’i was crowded with tourists.”
I typically respond with, “you find what you seek. If you travel to Hawai’i to find people, you will find them.” My thought pattern continues with … if you travel to find natural surroundings, raw shoreline, beautiful blue water, lava rock, flowers of every kind, sweet sounding birds, and tasty fish … that’s what you’ll find.
My travels to Hawai’i aren’t about the beach. Sure, I go to the beach (more so at sunset), but I’m much more interested in hiking, walking and exploring. Certainly there are times where I need to move around and actively crop people out of my frame. But that’s an exception. Cropping people from the frame (or their noise from the HD-mic) is much harder orchestrate at sunset than at any other time of the day.
Early morning is the easiest because most visitors aren’t interested in getting out of bed at 5Am. Shooting midday is fraught with lighting issues – unless you’re under heavy brush or indoors. Either way, finding yourself far away from the masses is a choice.
If you land in Honolulu (Hono-rue-rue), you find six lanes of traffic on BOTH sides of the highway. If you drive downtown you will find a sea of white flesh (yes, mostly Caucasian) and a roar of happiness stemming from a collective notion — “we’re on Waikiki Beach!” Look around and you smell the fatty flesh of tourists. Or, you can choose another route and find a dried red dirt path strewn with Acacia trees … leading far away from masses. Ninety-eight percent of my travels include the later variety.
According to management, we will continue seeking the quiet red dirt path until further notice.