Tuesday, December 18, 2012


From the moment Laurel sat on the passenger seat of my car when I first met her at the Hilo airport, I felt right at home with her.  She was friendly, unassuming, transparent and just exuded good energies.

I felt myself increasingly drawn to Laurel and, on my way to and from work, would frequently stop by the house that she and her husband Rex bought. Before we knew it, we were confidantes. Many times, I cried off my pain and disappointments on Laurel's shoulders just as she did hers on mine.

Laurel  laughs boisterously and is more often than not always joyful. She puffs, huffs  and talks  like Ma Barker might have done but beneath the seemingly rough exterior is an authentic heart of gold. During the few times I've seen her really upset I've noticed how quickly  she resumed being her normal happy self as soon as she had shared the cause of her distress.

Studying Laurel,  I surmise that her resiliency is basically due to  her self-knowledge and acceptance; and love. 

She knows her strengths and acknowledges that by herself she cannot hope to overcome her weaknesses without drawing from her spiritual discipline. 

She is kind to everybody -- to me, to the workers she and Rex hired to help improve their property, and even to complete strangers. They have sheltered, fed and taken care of people they had only casually met on the street. 

Several days ago Laurel left Hawaii permanently to reside in Oregon, where her daughter will resume her schooling. 

Thank you Laurel. You are by no means a saint but  perhaps more than saints ever can, you have shown me how to love.

Laurel, 12/2012

- Ariel Murphy

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