Friday, May 1, 2009

The island gift of Time, Community & Beauty

I went to catch the sunset at Ala Moana Beach the other day. It was relaxing personally, and refreshing to see other people take a stroll around the park or families play at the beach. I wondered why I didn't take the time out to do this more often.

When I first arrived on the island, I made it a point to watch the sunset almost every day at the Hawaii Kai harbor. I loved watching the sun set, the sky turn it's Hawaii orange glow behind the ridge before Diamond Head, while canoes and stand up paddlers lined the light shore waves. But somehow over time, life crept in, and I found myself caught in a daily routine just the same as the mainland...eating, working, meeting up with people, or headed off somewhere...catching the sunset mostly through my car window pane as I drove off to my next destination.

Yet everything slows down in Hawaii. I forget sometimes that driving doesn't need to entail passing up a "slow" car--how much time do we really need to save anyway? And that chatting it up with a local market cashier allows us to appreciate people in the moment and enjoy life's present richness--it's not a wasted minute of time as folks from the mainland are accustomed to think. And while I do need to plan to double the amount of time to do my usual errands (the pace of work is indeed slower here) it's made up by the courtesy, assistance and personal attention given.

What I find is that I reclaim the gift of time whenever I'm in the aloha state. Slowed time allows us to appreciate the moment, the gift of the day, and people around us. If Hawaii were couched as a "spiritual retreat" the three healing aspects I'd say the island uniquely offers is: the gift of time (slowed life pace), community (warmth and ease of people; value of relationships), and beauty (nature's creation).

And that, is good reason for pause enough.

{lap top is broken. but stay tuned for coming photos and posts...}

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