Walking in Hawaii

March 2, 2017


This morning I woke up in my Hawaiian loft overlooking the jungle. I am on my annual retreat visiting

Pacific Ocean on a gray day in Hilo, Hawaii

my cousin Tracey and her husband in Hilo, Hawaii. Through a gap in the green canopy, I could see a wedge of the Pacific Ocean, slate gray with a sliver of white light on the horizon. It wasn’t raining. Yet. It was my last “free” day here in Hilo, on my own while Tracey was working. I was going to have an Adventure. I had been planning this opportunity for months. The weather Gods had a different schedule. Tracey’s weather app flashed a Winter Storm warning for the whole state and all of the Big Island, with snow on the mountains and potential downpours and flooding everywhere.

First thing to let go: control of the weather. Second – all my current plans.

I felt sad, thwarted and stuck doing the same old rain-driven activities I always do in Hilo, where it rains a lot! What bothered me the most was how shut down and narrow my mind felt, thinking bleak, powerless thoughts. I focused my morning meditation on Joy and presence. I’m in Hawaii for three more days. I did not want to fret about what couldn’t happen and why the day would be wet and miserable. I wanted to be happy.

My body decided I needed to move. I drove up the coast to walk along a road that overlooked the Pacific. It was rainy by the time I got there. I found I had forgotten my sneakers, so I walked in the rain in my star-fish flip-flops, then barefoot when they began to rub. I wore my raincoat and pulled the hood up. I wrote 19 syllable poems to mark the moments.


I walk on the grassy sponge

next to the black road


feet feel soft Mother Earth.


The rain turns on and off and on again.


Which way does the weather go?

from above? from the sea?


from my heart, trampled and free?


I can not find the public access cliff path, but the one-lane road meanders its way – black and beckoning, through green fields lined with banana trees hung with fruit, scarlet birds of paradise, cows and the lone stallion “out standing in his field.” I cross over two streams, grottos of gurgling green. I round a bend to see the Pacific through a break in the trees. I watch the mighty waves roll up to the cliff and break turquoise light and lace over the black rocks.


I walk alone pondering

poems and pleasure –


sing their way to the sea.


It is a long, lovely walk. I am damp, but not soaked. There is beauty everywhere. I meet Tracey for lunch, after which I go to Lilliokalani Park, sit at a picnic table by the bay and read Dropping the Struggle by Roger Housden. Surrounded by water, it doesn’t rain for over an hour. Today my goal has been to be present to however the day unfolds, dropping the struggle of my mind’s expectations and preferences. Housden reminds me that when I drop the struggle to control my life experiences, I find what is actually present, which I would have missed – the joy of walking in the Hawaiian rain absorbing the magnificent scenery. In the process, I found beauty and time, inspiration and contentment.

I move to the car as the sky lowers and rain blurs the windshield. Colorful Hilo town fades to gray. Time to take my happiness indoors.




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