Monday, June 9, 2014

Mahalo, Maui


 This is the path we walked up and down every day on Maui...



... while we lived here...



 ...the house of our friend Christine. She built it thirty years ago. Solar powered, the house has a compost toilet, an outdoor shower, and an open air kitchen.


The only noise you hear are birds and the rushing creek with waterfall, seen from the living room window:


Pineapple, avocado, banana and payapa grow abundantly.


There was a house cat named Dora...


a house gecko...


and a house spider ...


...who fortunately lived outside. A crafty arachnid, she spun her web in a spot where bugs flocked to our lit-up window at night.





Here's our generous host, Christine, with her boyfriend Kenny. We hadn't known each other well before coming to Maui. But now after spending two magical weeks together, they feel like our soul siblings. We also fell in love with Kenny's dogs, Lucy and Roxie.



Christine and Kenny are kick-ass strong. At age 68, they swim miles every week. Being a merman and a mermaid ourselves, Dave and I swam almost every day. At Twin Falls, we experienced this:


 

Other days, we swam and snorkeled in the ocean, floating around with fish and huge sea turtles. One day we drove the road to Hana and hiked out to this mind-blowing spot, Red Sand Beach...


...where Dave captured my synchronized swimming maneuver, a ballet leg:




We hiked through bamboo forests...


 ...and around the other-worldly Haleakala Crater...



where we were so high....



...we were above the clouds.




 It just so happened that Dave's college buddy, Craig, and his three kids were on Maui too.

 

We spent a couple of fun days with them that included swimming, snorkeling...


and the best fish tacos ever:


One day, Christine and Kenny took us on the ferry to Lanai, where we swam for more than two hours way way way off shore.



The water looks placid in this picture, but it was wild and wavy and infinitely deep--punctuated by serene, surreal ultra blue landscapes. Confetti of fish, sculptural coral.

At moments I thought, "What the hell am I, a land mammal, doing all the way out here? Will my feet ever touch Mother Earth again?" Salt water seeped into my snorkel. I wished for gills.


The fish swayed with the surges, reminding me to release to the ocean's power. I thought about the woman in Swimming to Antarctica who swims for days in the worlds's coldest waters without a wetsuit. I thought of Diana Nyad's amazing achievements. I watched Dave and our friends plowing through the surf, no land in sight.

I thought about how land and sea are yin and yang, overlapping like life and death, one not possible without the other. For hours afterward the motion of the sea stayed with us, a kind of dizziness not unlike my post-brain surgery vertigo. I thought of it like Mother Earth gently rocking us in a cradle. 


We are, after all, her children.

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