Haleakala

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I spent precious moments in the open pastures of the farm on Big Island. The farm was where I was supposed to be. I felt it in the air when I looked out at the green grass rolling all the way to the coast line. On a clear day, I could see a Maui volcano floating between the blue sky and ocean. Little white specks of the observatories were barely identifiable on the highest point. In due time, my next destination. I’d always feel an overwhelming sense of peace with my present state and loose plan for the future when I was out there. I’d smile at the grounding of Big Island and play around with fantasies of adventure on Maui. Each island has its own personality with different lessons hidden in its jungles. When the ‘Aina beckons you to go, you go. When she says stay, you stay. She wants you to surrender your ideals and live harmoniously. It’s Pele’s home, after all. She’ll toss you around to show you that you’re not in control when you first arrive. Followed by obvious, yet gentle, reminders during your stay: remain present to receive them. 

When I arrived to Maui last week, I learned that the dormant volcano on the east coast of Maui is Haleakala. Haleakala is what I have been catching a glimpse of on those sunshiny days on Big Island. I wiggled with joy when the 10-passenger airplane I arrived on, flew by the observatories and over the mountain. 

I didn’t have much of a plan when I arrived to Maui; I left those back on the mainland. A friend of mine had settled in on the island about a year ago. She and her boyfriend opened up their home as a temporary option. My other choices were to check out another work trade farm, or go camp on the beach. There wasn’t any rush to make the choice. I had three weeks of solo travel left until more Minnesotans migrated over for winter. The first week, I took it slow at Kellen and Levi’s place. The first roof I had slept under in months. By the end of the week, I was ready for more nature. 

I had met a girl named Sarine at the Kohala ‘Aina Festival. She complimented my unicorn shirt and didn’t laugh when I told her it was my spirit animal. Instead, she invited me to visit her farm. Every Halloween they host a mystical trail hike. They dress as mermaids and knights. They invite families to enter dragon caves and see real life unicorns. Although it was over, she claimed the land always had a mystical feeling to the air. My type of place. And where does the farm happen to be? Maui. I called her up and she offered me a cabin for a week. In exchange, I help with their thanksliving feast. 

I got dropped off at Awalau Farm Monday evening. Two work trade girls showed me to my cabin towards the back of the unicorn pasture. I somehow happened upon another predominantly female farm. Work is Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00am till 5:00pm. The unicorns can’t eat avocados, the cat hisses at its own tail, everything runs on solar energy, and when you fetch water from the mountain…ask it for permission. The next morning I arose to a cloudy sky and light rain. I pulled on my boots and rain jacket and sloshed my way to the kitchen. I poured a mug of Kona Coffee and sat down on the kitchen’s front porch facing the South East. The patio consisted of low beach chairs, a coffee table, clothes line, and a mini chess board. It’s the only area with electricity and a good view. This made it the primary community space.

The mountainous view from the patio was covered by clouds. We spent the morning in our rain coats watching the rain come down in sporadic spurts. Occasionally it would blow towards the patio and place a light mist over the charging cell phones and breakfast plates. No one really minded the rain, not even the creatures. It would come and go all morning, then cease at 10:00 am. This was the comfortable routine for life at a high elevation.
One morning, while enjoying my breakfast bowl and coffee, the clouds unveiled the full-view beyond the V-shaped treeline. There – standing tall and proud – was the highest point of the dormant volcano, Haleakala. I had been living 1,460 feet up the volcano the entire time. I felt a familiar sense of peace with my present state and loose plan for the future. A gentle reminder that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. As I gaze at the opposite side of Haleakala I learn new lessons. To think I manifested the syncretistic happenings on the island is to think I have control. The only type of control I have is my outlook and mindset. Everything else just follows suit. 

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