When we set off on our voyage, we were tired, in need of rest and healing, and hungering for both wild places and gentle people. So we said prayers of thanks, every day, that we were able to spend time in places like magnificent Hawaii.
Hawaii's wild beauty is well-known and indisputable. We drove the length of Kona's gorgeous coast, and marvelled at the black and green sand beaches, miles and miles of black lava fields, and awe-inspiring volcanoes in Volcano National Park, which were actively erupting as we arrived -- nature, in all her raw, powerful magnificence.
After Kona, we moved on to beautiful Kauai, which presented an entirely different kind of wild, including the lush greens of Hanalei Bay, the ancient steppes of Waimea Canyon and the serene, sculpted beauty of the Napali Coast -- heaven.
But it was the combination of this wild beauty and Hawaii's gentle "aloha spirit" that was particularly alluring. Everywhere we went, we met people for whom the aloha spirit is not simply a greeting, or term of affection, or even a cultural tradition; but rather an active and sacred way of life, that has a much deeper meaning, related to experiencing people at the soul or spirit level, and honouring that.
I thought: how much kinder and more loving the world would be if we could all bring a little aloha spirit into our way of being in the world.
Here's to Hawaii's wild beauty and aloha, and the wild places that soothe our spirits, and gentle people who see them, wherever they may be.