In October of 2006 Mom and I were in Waikīkī visiting my brother Dan. On the two weekends of that visit I flew over to our mission in Kailua-Kona, the St. Juvenaly Mission. At that time the mission was in-between Pastors so I flew over to conduct some services for them. It was on the second weekend that the 6.7 and 6.0 earthquakes hit! The previous night we held a service known as the Great Blessing of Water during which Holy Water is confected so that people might take it to their homes, which they all did once the service was finished. The next morning the quakes hit and one of the parishioners told me all sorts of things were crashing and falling… except for the container of Holy Water which stayed firmly in place on the kitchen counter! Life is filled with uncertainties and one never knows what will happen. So how should I deal with the possibility of uncertainties of my life in Hawaiʻi?
On May 10th of 2001 I climbed into a rented Penske truck and took myself and some possessions off into the next phase of my monastic life. As I was heading down the New Jersey Turnpike I knew I had to stop for gas. I pulled up to a pump, got out… and was stymied because over the 23 years since I had last pumped gas things had changed! The machine wanted me to insert my credit card or go tell the attendant how much gas I wanted to pump in advance. Well, I didn’t have a credit card and I had no idea how much gas I needed! I experienced my own personal emotional mini-earthquake of embarrassment and confusion! I wondered what was going to happen to me now that I had to pump my own gas? So instead of facing the unknown at the pump I got back into the truck and continued my journey south!
Well, after two more stops with two more mystifying pumps I finally had to go into the store wearing my clerical collar and admit to my ignorance. The clerk replied, “That’s all right, Honey. You just go get what you need and bring me back the money.” Absolution for my trepidation! As I look toward living on the Big Island in 2019 I know that I will have to contend with earthquakes! In fact they just had one yesterday at 5.0 on the scale! It is clear to me that I can either let that fact intimidate me or I can just get on with living and find a way to enjoy the mystery of what might happen. I lived through my ignorance about the gas pumps! I think I will survive embracing the uncertainties of Big Island living!