I just returned from a week of post card paradise that took my breath away. (Remember when my hubby won an all-expense paid trip to Maui with his job? Swoon). I sort of hate when people share awesome vacation photos, so this will be short, painless and beautiful:
Turquoise oceans, miles of brown sugar sand, intimidating black volcanic ruins, and pink swirly sunsets—an artist’s pallet as far as you can see.
I stepped off the plane and I was greeted with a ring of flowers around my neck and the word, Aloha, a familiar island greeting, but more- an invitation to relax and breath in the wonder around me.
Everywhere we went, stores, restaurants, side-of-the-road fruit stands, I heard the same invitation over and over: aloha. I understood the greeting to mean both hello and goodbye, but I was surprised to learn there is much more behind the word.
Aloha is the most popular Hawaiian word and even sacred to some. It’s much more than a casual greeting of hello and goodbye, it’s also offering compassion and love; it’s a way of life. It’s a purposing to breathe in the moment and when it’s said to someone else, it’s an invitation to joyfully share life together. An actual translation is “to consciously manifest life joyously in the present.” It is a prime directive.
And that’s exactly what my husband and I did-from sunrise to sunset- we explored the island, we ignored the clock, we lived in the moment. We lived aloha.
We breathed in each other and the beauty around us.
Although I sort of stopped breathing when he did this:
I live a hurried life and I’ve become a master multitasker. I work hard not to waste a second in my busy day and I’m honest enough to admit how difficult it is for me to stop and not clock-watch, to relax and enjoy the journey and not only the destination.
I don’t know if I’ll ever return to Hawaii (but I’m already dreaming of doing so). I do know that we don’t have to travel across the ocean to paradise to have a bit of it in our regular everyday life.
I’m home now with sandy piles of laundry and kids I missed terribly. The amazing pineapple we brought home will get eaten, a picture or two will get framed and memories will fade. But I’m determined to keep a little of the island spirit in my heart, to consciously stop and breathe in the moments around me a little more.
Because that’s the only way to really live.