i'm back from Hawaii.
i know, for some of you it's like i never left, like the blink of an eye. but i did. can't say i have the tan to prove it, but i do have sand around the edges of my dryer and some new shells scattered about the house, and, most of all, memories. want to hear some?...
...it's mother's day and i'm sitting on a manicured lawn which borders a small beach. my hair is ridiculous -curls curlier than i've ever seen them, splayed around my head, thick with salt. again, i wish for some sort of hat to cover up the travesty. the sun is setting. i rip a piece off the costco roasted chicken with my hands and shove it in my mouth. scott smiles beside me. on the beach, my children are building a hill of sand. they've named this hill "fat joe". when my son told me it's name he said it a little sheepishly, knowing that i don't like to hear the word "fat" as a descriptor - but i assured him that naming a hill of sand 'fat' is appropriate. they squeal every time the waves surround them, and cheer for fat joe surviving the onslaught. they are sun-kissed and filthy and happy down to their bones. i turn to scott and say "best mother's day present ever".
...we are at secret beach: a series of tiny inlets, framed by mounds of volcanic rock. we climbed over a few of these before settling onto this stretch of sand. behind me is more rock and then a jungled cliff-face. ahead is pounding surf. beneath me, warm sand. to my right, a jumble of dry rock. to my left, wet rocks as the waves crash against them, sending spray up and over to form a small pool. my husband is in this pool, his back against the rock, smiling at me. it's deep enough that when he crouches down it hits his shoulders. suddenly, an enormous wave crashes and scott is under a waterfall of water, laughing and yelling. i think to myself: "scott is standing under a waterfall. i am sitting on a towel reading. i have to get up." i'm not the type that loves to play in the surf, not being a great swimmer. i also abhor being cold. warm sand and a good book is my circle of happiness. but something bloomed inside me, when i jumped up and ran into that water. when i was kissed under a hawaiian waterfall. something like satisfaction.
i am floating in the ocean, the sun hot on my back. i hear my breath moving in and out of my snorkel. salt stings the corners of my eyes. i hear a little squeal through the water, it's scott. he's pointing to a school of white tropical fish eating along the edge of the reef. there's fish everywhere i see, all colours, shapes and sizes. i love the little round black ones with white polka dots, they make me think of Audrey Hepburn. a fashionable lady in fish form. and those longer ones with the florescent purple streak along their backs. for a moment i am transported above myself, and i see that i am being filled with beauty and warmth, more than i am able to receive. i squeeze scott's hand.
i am standing in water up to my waist. the car is packed with all of our suitcases, and we leave for the airport from this beach. here there is an oval pool, protected from the waves by another rock cropping, but unique in that the rock reaches fully from one point on the beach, to another - one half of the oval. as i stand holding my daughters hand i see a glint of blue in the water. as we stare a school of large blue fish with bright yellow side fins comes into view. my smile must reach my ears. smaller silvery fish are swimming around us, and then, oh my goodness! they are circling us - around and around they swim with my daughter and i forming their epicenter. it is an extravagant parting gift. i think that i must remember this moment later when stuck in a cramped plane. and i do.
we arrived home to a cacophony of colour in the form of front lawn flowers. our personal paradise. how incredible is my life that my home boasts as much beauty as my vacation destination. i stand amazed.
now it's back to work and vacuuming and painting and gardening - this abundant life. hopefully i carry the lessons of beauty and warmth and rest that i experienced. hopefully i am more grateful and humbled and awe-struck: some holiness gleaned in the holiday.