Follow your heart, always! Back to Maui

Just like that, 7000 mile road trip filled with adventure shared with family and friends. The 2 months I was back on the mainland flew by, and before I could hardly blink I was back in Maui soaking up the sun, it felt like home upon arrival. It was a chilly Minnesota morning when I got to the airport at 5am, and a nice sunny day arriving around noon in Maui. Getting off the plane, I grabbed my bags from the carousel and didn’t even have time to change into shorts before the 3rd Day Nursery crew was there to nab me at the airport. Derek and Clarke were bouncing in rhythm in the truck, I can still replay that scene in my head, was great to see them. Throwing my bags in back of the truck I squeezed into the cab and off we went fumbling through the airport. I didn’t even comprehend the tourist scene and associated craziness I was home and that’s all that mattered at the moment.


Fresh Bananas

The garden

These ti plants were just put in the ground when I left in March, now thriving in May.

Herb garden

Pepper tree

Lots of succulents

A beautiful view to the west side

Arriving back at the nursery, I was reunited with Mia, a big hug and I couldn't have been much happier at the moment. Others were there than I knew from before, Peter and Zach, plus some new friends that I would get to know over the next 7 weeks in Hawaii. The nursery was definitely a different place though, there were half the number of people or less from when I departed 2 months ago. Most people here had vehicles and their own agendas. It seemed like a more mature crowd however they were stuck in the usual ways eating costco food and oats/granola for breakfast. We were in paradise, I had to keep my will strong and try to prepare lots of food from the garden, forage often, and supplement from the local farms. Everyone talked about eating good local food and working on farm projects but not much of this was actually done. So I rested and worked on the garden, it was a mess and needed some TLC , I had plenty to give. Other than the garden I fixed a few random things around the farm and in the kitchen, cleaned the kitchen floor (2nd time in history I think its every been scrubbed!) and cleaned a guest house, which turned out to be a nice gesture since I didn’t get to stay in it for long. 

Garden food topped with locally made sauerkraut

After a week of rest, relax, reading, yoga, and some work I finally got off the farm. Mia and I went to Makawao to catch a seminar on native Hawaiin plants. The seminar was interesting, only 5% of native plants still thrive on any of the Hawaiin islands, but the majority of them have medicinal benefits and are social plants. The speaker works at 2 nurseries on the island and encouraged those who attended her talk to come and volunteer to learn more through hands on experience. After the seminar we went and chilled at Rainbow park next to the community church. Jimi Hendrix once held a concert here and up in the Haleakala crater, there is apparently a documentary of the Rainbow bridge concert, I have yet to tune in, but let me know if you do, I'm sincerely interested! 

Vast trees in Rainbow park

After the park we made our way to the church for a children’s play “Wind Boy” put on by the community. Mia had helped care for a few of the kids in the play and thus wanted to show support. I was thrilled to go along, the Maui community always brings out a better me, making me smile and warming my heart seeing all those beautiful kids smiling and having the time of their lives. When the kids saw another that they knew, hugs were first and foremost along with holding hands and embracing the wonderful life we live. The play started by a young girl coming down to the town looking for work as a house maid to a poor family. Her and the kids begin to explore with the help of wind boy, a fairy who only lets certain people see him. When the kids didn’t have enough money for shoes, wind boy led them to a special store in the alley to get shoes. When the kids struggled in school, the wind boy showed her a new school which gave her strength to ask questions if not understanding. The girl next door who did not have friends was united with other kids thanks to the wind boy and taught how to play and have fun once again. The wind boy basically represented the “fly out of the jar”.. don’t get caught up in social matters, any judgments or expectations of you. Love life and you will be loved back! The play lasted two full hours and was beautifully presented. I had a smile on my face the entire time. After the play we went down to Paia, first for a swim on the north shore, my first ocean swim since being back! It was glorious and relaxing! Did some yoga afterward on the beach then read while Mia took a nap, how I missed these rejuvenating days oceanside on the beach. We stopped by Mana foods to get some fresh food and drove back to the nursery, it felt great to have a friend with a car and all the associated freedom that came with. It was a full moon that night so I proceeded to stay up late, past everyone else for once, it was a great day! 

North Shore

Sunday followed, and a few of us went to explore a new area of the island La Perouse beach, further south of Makena where many people go to Little Beach on Sundays, none of us had ventured this far so it was a new experience for all. At La Perouse it was much quieter but also much more sacred, there were burial grounds all around us with trails that snaked between them and along the rocky beach. Every so often there was nice beach that allowed access to the pristine blue water. The last lava flows on Maui occurred in this area in 1790, thus the vegetation was sparse, mostly kiawe trees and black basalt from the lava. We hiked down the beach for some time, most of the group wanted to go swimming, but Clarke and I pressed on to hike beyond the rest and see what we could see. The wind was super strong, making it hard to stand at some points of our journey. We wandered through the rocky landscape stumbling down the trail stopping to take in the beauty both oceanward and mountain side. We could see a valley that contained some permaculture farms, one of which we had both visited in March. We could also make out the Poli Poli helicopter pad at the state park, the village of Kanaio and the wood deck of the very first farm I wwoofed at in January. Hiking back to the group we just chilled on the beach and did our own thing, some drew art, others meditated, or did puzzles, I wrapped a few stones then did some yoga. Before long we were taking in the beautiful sunset and wandering back down the path towards the van we had arrived in. It was another beautiful day in paradise!

La Perouse, ocean view

La Perouse - Mountain view

I lasted another week at the nursery, then my time had come to move on. Even with the lush bounty of veggies available and the fun times to be had. I got to work on one last fun project building a planter out of cedar for a surf shop in Lahaina. The Sunday after La Perouse was shared with friends and several beaches around the island first near Kihei then Hookipa on the north shore, with some fresh fish from a market stand for lunch in-between. We collected sea shells around Hookipa and meditated to the waves crashing into the lava boulders that met the ocean at a point. The day was good for me to reflect, turtles swam nearby as the sun started to set behind Molokai, that is where my heart destined to be. So Monday I said my goodbyes, met another good person who gave me a ride to Kahului where i hopped on the bus to Lahaina. Spent the afternoon on the beach reading and letting any emotions go, that night I stayed at a hostel and met a bunch of great people, but I did not go out with them. Instead I showered and got to bed early so I could be up early to catch the morning ferry to Molokai! 

Fresh produce at the nursery

Planter project

Planter finished

Planter filled with succulents and installed at the surf shop!

Sunset from nursery

Lanai - as seen from the beach in Lahaina

Black rock point

Beach time to contemplate life

Happy traveler


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