Whenever I have been in Hawaiʻi I have been astounded to see monumental-scaled outdoor plants like palms and monstera that I have only ever known as potted houseplants! Hawaiʻi is like a greenhouse that has escaped all pots, all bounds, all inhibitions! It is amazing what is there to be seen in Hawaiʻi if only one pays attention. I wonder how many tourists really notice Hawaiʻi beyond the fake lūʻau‘s, the guided tours and the myriad stalls of identical geegaws?
We live in a culture which works hard to distract us with television and radio advertisements that scream at you! Elevator music won’t allow you to be with your thoughts when the doors close! Billboards. And it’s all very successful! I know someone who can’t stand to be alone with herself, with her thoughts, with her deepest feelings. She creates all sorts of distractions so that she won’t have to bump into herself!
What would happen if we opted out of it all for a day? No TV, no radio, no shopping, no tweets, no email… just “being”. But what would we do with just being still? That question is the exact manifestation of the problem with “doing” versus “being”. Our culture gives us the impression that if we stop doing then we stop being. Such a culture does not foster reflectiveness. We fill our silences with everything but ourselves! Being unable to be alone with ourselves it’s no wonder so many people feel lonely and alienated!
Hawaiʻi makes me so full of happiness! For me Hawaiʻi is the sound of tiger doves with their distinctive take on cooing. The morning after we arrived in October 2010 I went out onto my lānai with my coffee. I heard the doves and I knew I was home. It was enough to just sit there, sip coffee and listen to the little conversation that the doves were having. It was enough, and being enough I felt full.