Our days are numbered,
The end is coming near,
We try to brace ourselves,
The remaining time we hold dear,
I wish we could stay forever,
But, it turns out that we can’t,
The reality within arm’s reach,
A wish that cannot be grant,
The memories will last forever,
The pictures say it all,
Precious times spent,
Having an absolute ball,
‘Not to worry’, we tell ourselves,
We will do it again soon,
After all, it’s up to us,
To march to our own tune,
Indeed, it’s back to daily working life,
Schedules, lunches and plans will be made,
Our vacation time lain to rest,
That’s how it has to be, I’m afraid,
We’ll forage ahead like soldiers,
Doing what we must,
Early morning wake-ups,
Will cause the most fuss,
So, when the day comes,
And we hear that familiar sound,
We’ll Lurch ourselves out of bed,
Off to work we will be bound.
The lull of the ocean draws me near,
It’s layered blue depths of which I silently fear,
Yet, inside my soul there is a continual yearning,
The nature of which I am still eagerly learning,
In it lies peace and a sense of calm like no other,
As if it were a close cousin or maybe my brother,
The crashing, the splashing, the soft lullabies,
Sing a song to me that are billions of years wise,
I sit in awe and find myself staring for hours on end,
So mesmerizing are its wet curves and rolling, soft bends,
The sparkle of light on its surface invites me in,
Here I am more free than I have ever been.
Last night, I just managed to capture this sailboat sailing through the path of the sunlight on the South Pacific waters here in Maui. The sparkling light and the warm tones make my heart smile each and every time that I am fortunate to witness these amazing sunsets! Aloha and Mahalo:-).
The Five Man Electrical Band is famous for the familiar tune, Signs. Admittedly, I can’t say that I know much about the lyrics themselves or their meaning, so I can’t say if the song fits rightfully into this post or not, but certainly the quoted line in my title does.
As we presently vacation on the beautiful island of Maui, I am not only in awe of the scenery but also of the feel here. The island feel, if you will. I have written before about how much my husband and I love Hawaii, the reason we come each year, yet every visit continues to amaze us with the many new, often profound things that it offers, including the stories of the people here. This is where the word ‘sign’ comes into play…
Yesterday, one of the management company employees checked in to see how we were enjoying our stay–a nice touch, I must say. After leaving us with some extra, freshly laundered bath and hand towels, we chatted with her for a short bit. In the fifteen or twenty minutes that she was here, we learned that she just up and plucked herself from her upside down world on the main land and decided to call Maui home, almost two years ago this fall. Imagine! Just. Like. That. All on her own. Sadly, her dad died, her dog died and she divorced–all in the same year. That was enough to prompt her to sit back and take inventory of her life, and what better place to do so than a vacation in the idyllic South Pacific. And so, the story goes that she was to visit for a month to re-evaluate her life and purpose as well as to ‘get away from it all’. By now, I am sure that you can guess what happened next. Indeed, at the end of her stay, she put her house in Reno up for sale and began packing up her things. But, what you don’t know is that aside from her immediate love of this place, she felt that the Universe had provided her with a sign–the exact one that she needed to make the Solitary, steadfast decision to pick up and move, to start over again.
Days before she was to return home, she hit the beach only to find a huge heart made of coral directly in front of her path and being that hearts are her ‘thing’, that was all of the confirmation that she needed to finalize the plans she had been newly dwelling on. Two months later, she found herself living in a long-term rental just up the street from our condo building, where she still resides today. Was it a flat-out, easy decision for her to make? No, it wasn’t. Not at all. Moving to Hawaii meant leaving behind her two grown children and grandchildren, one of whom she helped look after daily from the ages of two to eight. She misses him dearly, as well as her new grandson and obviously the feelings are mutual, so much so that her daughter was going to move here as well; however, circumstances dictated otherwise, as does happen in life. Of course, they visit back and forth, but it isn’t the same. Nonetheless, these are the kind of sacrifices that we are all faced with when looking at what is really best for us, as so often we do we is best for others, especially as women.
Like others living elsewhere in the world, she admits that she does slip into the daily thralls of life, even here in paradise, but her “I am on Island Time” sign, front and center in her kitchen, helps her to stay grounded in why she gave up what she did to live the life she was meant to live. For now. After all, who knows what other signs are out there awaiting her, or you, or me? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see:-). Until then, the message in it for all of us is to keep our hearts, minds and eyes open to what could be, as often what we desire is right in front of us.
“The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”
If you have ever watched Shawshank Redemption you’ll recognize this quote from the elderly character, Brooks, who after being incarcerated for decades, finally gets released back into society realizing just how different the world has become. Both my husband and I have watched this popular 1994 movie countless times, and each viewing leaves us with another seemingly newfound realization or chance to ponder life. Clearly, we are not the only ones who appreciate the savvy, narrative about a man (Andy, skillfully played by Tim Robbins) who is wrongfully imprisoned, learning perhaps more about himself on the inside than he did out and about in everyday life. In fact, a quick internet search to confirm the wording in my initial quote led me straight to the following link, wherein ten of the most inspirational quotes of the storyline reside proving that others feel the same as us with respect to the movie’s numerous life lessons to be garnered:
It’s worth checking out the link if nothing else, or better yet, take in the flick if you haven’t already.
While this post is not intended to serve as a movie review, I use Brooks Hatlen’s quote because it remains etched in my mind and I find myself reflecting on it regularly. For me, it’s definitely food for thought in how we go about our everyday life (at least here in North America, anyway). Old ‘Brooksey’ makes me question why we are in such a hurry ALL the time to do EVERY. little. THING. from running errands to commuting to work to even rushing around to go on holidays and then when on holidays, people are often still zipping around here, there and everywhere busying themselves with all kinds of ‘tasks’, be it visiting the next monument or taking selfie upon selfie to prove ‘they were there’ or ‘did that’. In my opinion, filling every minute and/or sparing none is not a healthy way to live and in many cases, I dare say it’s not necessarily a happy experience either based on what I have observed, anyway. Or, is it? Maybe you adamantly disagree and that’s okay too. I certainly am in no place to judge another person’s lot in life and while some may argue that we should live life to the fullest, that is not one in the same to me as I interpret that as more of a ‘when the opportunity arises, grab it’ kind of thing, but again, feel free to dispute that.
Simply put, I am not sure that our society, as a whole, is doing ourselves any favours by not stopping more to smell the roses and enjoy the fruits of our labour. The busy lives that we are living is a reflection of OUR own personal choices–the lives that WE have created–yet, is it the one that we really want or are we just keeping up with the Joneses, in a matter of speaking? How many people reach/have reached a certain point in their life where suddenly they think, ‘How exactly did I end up here doing what I am doing and more importantly, why am I doing it? Is it serving me/my family well?’. As we approach the middle of our lives and realize more fully that each and every day REALLY does matter because you just never know, I think these questions are worth contemplating.
I will say that whether or not you agree, none of us can dispute certain things that are happening in the world around us. Familial structures are suffering now more than ever, as is individual well-being not to mention all that we hear in the news (granted that the media has its own slant and always will) about the general welfare of all people/groups in today’s supposedly forward-thinking, 21st Century society. Leaving out the latter, most recent concerns with government, religion, etc. (too heated to get into) just think about the number of families with struggles, be it relationship-wise, financially speaking or otherwise. What about the vast number of addictions (drug, alcohol and others) taking hold of whole communities? Then, there are those who are affected with disease, be it physical or mental or both, i.e. cancer rates, Alzheimer’s, depression. How about the steady increase in incidences of crime and poverty and unemployment? Is our hustle/bustle 24-hour a day, 7 day-a-week, ALWAYS plugged-in lifestyle serving us in the best way possible? Is our basic human need to connect and share with each other as strong as it could/should be? I just don’t think so. While our ability to see into the future remains Grainy, I am hopeful. I’m hopeful because reflection can bring about change and change is a constant:-).
He slowly rises from his chair,
A little wobbly, relying on his waning upper body strength to pull him up,
It’s just a regular part of life these days,
Things don’t work the same as they used to,
Certainly not pretty, but it is what it is,
And it has been that way for awhile now,
The days of ease somewhat of a blur.
He pours a drink into his glass,
The familiar shake of his hand persists,
It has for the past year or two,
A reminder that time is not always kind,
He’s just grateful that he can still do for himself,
He DREADS the day when he can no longer do so,
We all do!
He decides to tend to his garden,
Today is a day to relish for sure,
Then again, so is each day at this stage of the game,
He carefully bends in half ambling his way to his knees,
Kneeling or squatting is not a choice anymore,
Like many other things it seems,
Indeed, he must crawl between the dirt rows,
Lovingly harvesting each vegetable that he has planted.
At night, he settles into his rocker/recliner,
His weary body and aching bones reminding him of his day’s doings,
He shifts back and forth to find a comfortable position,
Resting is not as restful as it once used to be,
The days of true rest are behind him,
And, solid sleep is just as difficult to come by,
Up, down, down, up amidst endless tossing and turning,
Daylight usually a welcome sight for many reasons.
These are the ‘golden years’ they say,
He is still waiting for the golden,
Yet, he is grateful that he has made it here,
After all, some, much, much younger than he, don’t even make it to the light of day,
Life is not always fair and that is a fact,
But, he doesn’t let it hold him back,
He keeps on going, fighting the fight,
To live out each and every day and night.