Sunday, October 23, 2011

Billowing, Fathomless Seas

Whenever I visit Hawaii, the most remote area of land on the planet earth, I always ponder how people arrived in the first place. It is believed Polynesian people settled onto the islands at least 1200 years ago from land over 2500 miles away. The only way to get here was on crude boats made of wood, across billowing, fathomless seas ready to swallow them at any moment. It seems miraculous and gives me a deep respect for the adventurers who started on their improbable journey.

What prompted the Polynesians to set sail into the unknown? They drifted with sea currents for days, weeks, months—seeing nothing but water, the flat horizon, and the sky above. Certainly, sharks were about, and storms, hefty waves, and rain. To discover the tiny volcanic islands of Hawaii would be a miracle. And then, how would they ever return and establish trade routes? Maybe people back then were guided with stronger intuition and instinct, which modern man has lost.

The other day, I arose before dawn to hike in Waimea Canyon, on Kauai. When I arrived at the trailhead, the sun was at the horizon. I noticed a perfumed scent of blossoms in the air and set to walking through wet woods. I expected to walk 3 miles total, with a lookout offering a view of the NaPali coast and Pacific Ocean at the end of the trail. I discovered mid-way that the hike is 3 miles to the lookout, so 6 miles roundtrip. The air warmed up and the tropical environment held more humidity than I am accustomed too at home in the dry mountains of Santa Fe. I sweated profusely and on the walk back was panting on the strenuous, rugged trail. At one time, I felt so tired I talked to my angels . . . especially Naomi, and asked for inspiration to continue. The response was a sort of laughter—and the playful admonishment to take stock of my strength. I was focused on my weakness, but really, there was plenty of strength to get me through. Then I found new vigor to continue on unabated.

And I think this is how Hawaii was discovered. The primitive people relied on spirit to gain their strength and accomplish their impossible goals.

"Misty Mountains Of Kauai, Hawaii" oil on panel, 12 x 16 inches

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