I've scribbled the alphabet for meaning since I can remember.
Written on Kaua’i, January 2016
I should have driven straight to town because really it was time to do all the things that needed to be done: clean and register the car, get batteries, find my rain boots in an upturned storage unit, prepare for another sojurn off island, and find some time to relax.
First, was Hemingway’s café in Kapa’a to organize and prioritize with a latte and croissant. Apparently even more firstly – which is not a word -- was Kealia, my favorite beach. Turning the wheel to the left (the opposite direction of the coffee shop) - in the sputtering rain and beat-up jeans, without my my trusty canine sidekick, Ahonui, was a little sad. It’s her favorite beach, too. It’s where she has romped countless mornings with good friends because community always finds a way. She was back on the Mainland. There were a lot of things that were missing that morning – which was why I was there.
In my friend Damini’s #Landphotojourney – we were focusing on the Heart as it pertains to Nature. I had taken a few photos already (to share in our multimedia group; the class runs again in the Spring season) and was actually a little tickled to share a photo of my beloved beach. The beach I went to when I didn’t want to (ie, cold and sluggish morning dog walks); it was the beach I went to when I needed to reconnect, or when I was so lost I needed some place to put my tears. It was – it is – a good friend.
I snapped a few pictures; then tucked my phone away. I had heard there were whales yesterday morning and hoped to see them. It is such a rush to see those magnificent animals.
Scanning the horizon revealed nothing in particular, except one bird diving far off on the horizon. Then another. They’re there, I thought. The whales. They’re there. The birds are eating the flush of the fish from the air bubble. They are there.
But I didn’t see one. So I doubted and chastised myself.
They aren’t there – you just want to pretend they are. Say that you felt them.The anger was noticeably disproportionate.
I did feel them. I mean I thought I did. And then I thought maybe I didn’t. And then I thought I probably would have loved to see a post of one in my #Photolandjourney, which meant not really wanting to see them for just myself and I let the whole damn thing go.
I didn’t need to see them.
I wanted to though.
Then I realized needing to see them and knowing they are there are two completely different things. I thought about how many beautiful loves that are still felt in my life but they aren’t seen, and yet they are no less present for me. Perhaps, now in the beating of my heart and the curves of my bones they are even more with me than ever before. I couldn’t see them with my eyes now, only my heart.
It’s like that. When you can see something all the time, you almost miss it. But when you cannot see something and you have to be present for a glimpse, the slightest whisper counts and you feel the moment in a whole new way.
I climbed towards the end of the beach stretch to clamber up the rocks because they are there. I noticed a man sitting on a log staring out at the ocean.
I slip off my sweater and drop my phone on driftwood as I continue closer to the water.
“You see them?” the happy man in his bathing suit, beach hat and slippers yells to me.
“Yup, I see’em.” I knew before I saw.
“We are so lucky.”
“Yup, we sure are,” I smile. There was a happy male whale, side slapping his fin, breaching – from my horizon – just left of the rocks. I watched him. I thanked him. I thanked Kauai for continuously giving me so much, and I let my mind land on those that no longer can be seen, but have changed the very course of my life as the whale, leapt out of the water – full arc – perfect.
“Look to see what you saw,” he would say. He would say his grandmother said it: “Look to see what you saw.”
I saw that you commit to your heart and keeping moving until your eyes can catch up and see the horizon in front of you. To not lean only on what can be known, but trust with all your might what can be felt.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
- Omar Khayyam
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