I was "led" to Hawaii." That's what I say when I'm asked how I came to be in Hawaii.
I've never wanted to relocate to Hawaii. It is very much like the Philippines where I came from -- same nice beaches, same coconut trees most everywhere, same flowers, same fruits, and just nearly the same climate. Humidity is higher in the Philippines than in Hawaii.
I thought that if I were to permanently live in another place, I would like to be able to enjoy the four seasons, which tropical Philippines doesn't have and which I had a taste of when I once lived in Brussels -- one of the best times in my life but that's story for another blog.
My parents didn't even want me to leave Manila. They were aging fast and found comfort from the those Sunday family lunches and dinners I made a point to have and always looked forward to.
Besides, I was the only daughter left. In Asia, daughters are expected to care for parents in the twilight of their lives. But I assured my parents of constant visits. And with every visit, whenever it was time for me to go to the airport for my return trip to Hawaii, my mom would always be in tears and my dad could not be found. My dad hated to see me go.
The moment I landed in the airport in Hilo on my first trip to the Big Island, I had the impression of being in one of the provinces in the Philippines. Understand that I was born and raised in Manila, a big metropolis with its attendant nightmares -- heavy motor and people traffic most everywhere. Huge shopping malls, gated communities and mansions coexist with slums and vagrancy. Neon lights turned night into day.
No way I was going to live in Hilo, I told myself silently when I first visited the place. The silence intimidated me. It was too dark at night. It didn't take long for me to find out that street lights were kept at a minimum so the illumination doesn't obstruct the huge telescopes peering into the universe from atop Mauna Kea, one of the highest mountains in the world when measured from its base.
But when I woke up one morning and saw red cardinals playing by my bedroom window, I fell in love with Hawaii. I began to notice the wild orchids by the wayside and fell in love some more. Seeing the clear bright stars at night instead of smog definitely hooked me in. By the time I realized that I could just pull over by the road and gather sweet-tarty juicy "guayvies" I definitely became Hawaiian. It was a case of osmosis. Mother nature got into me.
It didn't take me long to realize that I am in Hawaii for a number of reasons some of which have already dawned on me. The others are yet to be revealed.
I believe one reason I was led to Hawaii was to help my husband pass on. I was with Michael as he battled cancer. I fed him. I took care of him. Many times I fell down with him on the floor as I helped him navigate our house when he could no longer walk. I was with him when he drew his last breath. I am with him still.
Another and maybe the most important reason I was led to Hawaii was to continue my spiritual growth. So far I've learned acceptance, forgiveness, being conscious and mindful, patience, faith, hope, love. Some lessons were painful. Others were amazingly mystical. lately, I've been discovering what things really matter and what don't. I've been practicing patience. I continue to learn. Once growth stops, I might as well be six feet under. In Hawaii, I don't just exist. I live.
Over the weekend, I met a lady in a party. She said that she had just relocated to Hawaii and that she thinks she was led to Hawaii for a purpose. According to her, one reason she is now in Hawaii is for her to plant on her land.
I was amazed and joyful to know another person for whom, like me, being in Hawaii is both meaningful and a destiny.
I thought that meeting that person was like having had the privilege of seeing my own self through another. It was a gift -- an affirmation of where and why I am in Hawaii at this time of my journey.
I am grateful. Aloha!
Posted with Aloha
- By ARIEL MURPHY