#21 Kickin’ Back in Kauai

When I had the opportunity to go to Kauai, I began to think about all of the potential feats I could accomplish there: a helicopter ride, learning to surf, hiking down canyons, and ziplining over treetops.

The first morning, as I sat on the patio poring over the brochures of various activities, I noticed one of the Hawaiian geese, nene (pronounced nay-nay), walking towards me. The signs on the lawn warned that the nene were nesting nearby and the male birds were extremely protective of their territory, so I was a little nervous.  But, the bird just came up on the 20151218_011942896_iOSpatio stone and settled in next to me. I thought it was likely that other visitors had fed him before, so was sure that he would get bored and move away when there was no food coming his way.  I was wrong. Each time I came out on the patio, Ralph, as I had named him, not only came over to sit with me, but RAN over as soon as the door opened. I don’t know if birds smile, but if they do, Ralph was. One afternoon he brought another nene with him.  In hindsight, I think it was his mother and it is possible that in bird-terms we are now married.

As we made our way to the various points of interest on the island, I found pleasure not only in the beautiful sights, but also in the unexpected encounters.  At the Wailua Falls (they used these for the opening shot on Fantasy 20151216_234119570_iOSIsland for those old enough to remember that show), I laughed as the man selling jewelry in the parking lot chatted with his friend, Oscar, a wild boar, standing just a few feet away. I swore I saw Oscar wag his tail upon hearing his name (this, I later found out, was true; pigs actually do wag their tails like dogs when they are happy). Once again, it is possible that food might have been involved in this friendship.

As the vacation unfolded, I felt less and less inclined to shoehorn a whole host of activities into each day.  I decided that this particular feat would not be about a particular adventure, but a reminder to slow down and see the wonder in the every day.  Okay, I recognize that a beautiful Hawaiian island is not ord20151219_211101797_iOSinary, but that simply reinforced my point. I felt the Universe once again trying to make sure I got the message by sending me a sign – literally.  And so, I did as the fish advised: I enjoyed morning walks listening to music, occasionally singing and dancing as the mood hit me, taking in the glory of the sand and the water; I sat in the sunshine and admired the trees blowing in the breeze; I marveled at the million dollar view from the balcony of the St. Regis hotel at sunset that was free to anyone who came to have a look. And I reflected on how incredibly fortunate I was no20151217_025911452_iOSt just to have been given the opportunity of this trip, but for all the many blessings in my life. As 2016 fast approaches, I look forward to the chapters ahead for me, big and small.  I end 2015 with a better understanding of myself, and my priorities in life.  Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous (however you define it) New Year!

Next up: It’s a surprise – since I haven’t any idea what it might be yet!


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