I visit the olive trees—some 298 of them—several times a day here in Kula. Each day, I hop into this very butch-looking jeep thing called a Polaris and shift gears and move forward—a metaphor that is not lost on me, trust me. I hardly need to remind myself that I am in a curious state of transition—and, dear God, willing, hopefully, evolution and transformation—here on Maui.
I have, quite simply, said no to another office media position prior to saying yes to THIS, and also, saying “not quite yet” to finding another “home” on the Mainland. And perhaps, saying “Well, I guess maybe NOT NOW” to another swirl of new life activity after the job termination, major book launch and gaggle of mood swings that filled that last 365 days. You know, the gift bags that tend to be offered with the party that is the Game of Life—work, home, play, work, home, play ….
Driving through the rows of these trees soothes me and as I venture forth, row after row, I practice becoming more alert to the breeze blowing across my face—that early morning Maui air, so fresh, so filled with possibility and so void of obstruction. I have also become ever more interested in the well being of these trees. Are they being watered—enough? Are they growing—enough? Are they being cared for—enough? This must be what being a parent feels like. Or a pet owner. (Which makes me worry, only somewhat, that my “neuroses” would spill over onto that Bernese Mountain Dog I eventually want to get: Is it walking too close to the curb? Is it breathing correctly? Is it looking at me funny?)
Alas, it seems to me that since I was brought here to Maui to SURRENDER and TRUST—which are verbs and verbs are actions—and that even in this simplest of acts, such as looking after these rows of trees, as best I can, I have to actually initiate such a thing as TRUST. It’s not some magical thing that happens to you, after all. (Dear Universe—just TRUST everything into place for me and I’ll stand over here and watch and step forward when it’s a bit more comfortable, thank you!)
TRUST is something that is evoked from within.
Dear Lord, Greg—must we get so deep on a Tuesday? You’re driving a jeep through a field? Chill. You’re on Maui.
There’s some truth that, however, even in the most simplest of acts lately—even going to the grocery store—I find there is ample opportunity to practice what I was brought here to experience.
So, today, I TRUST that these trees are in good hands. Or, soil, I should say. The combination of Maui’s deep rich earth and the arid climate here in what is considered Maui’s Up Country, seems to be good for them, and a nearby neighbor’s batch of trees, which are more than five years old now, seem to be flourishing. It’s a lovely thing to see and compare—the mature trees down and the baby trees, whose future seems divinely orchestrated by nature. The trees don’t need to trust. They’re just trees allowing themselves to grow.
Elsewhere, I continue to enjoy my visits to two enlightening portals—Lumeria and The Sacred Garden. Both establishments have wonderful labyrinths to walk and big Buddha statues to consider. The one pictured above is from Lumeria, a remarkable retreat. The Buddhas and the labyrinths continue to be a theme in my journey and as the two-week mark hit for my stay here—and the months ahead that await me—it signaled to my mind and heart the Big News: “Oh, Greg… you’re really on Maui—like, for a while …” And then another thought arrived: How, on some level, over the past five years or so, I have felt, at times, like a Latter Day Polish Goldilocks on a quest to find that “just right” feeling.
Is that job—just right … yet?
Is that town I live in—just right … yet?
Is my bank account—just right … yet?
Is dating—just right … yet?
Am I—just right … yet?
So, it seems a curious thing is occurring. In the absence of “schedule” … in the empty space that remains when one pauses “career” and actually sits still, one is left with … oneself. And lately, in this fascinatingly roomy place—I mean, what the hell? There’s so so so so so so so much ROOM that I think I’m going to FREAK OUT!!—one is given an opportunity to be with oneself, look at oneself, realize things about oneself.
(Or FREAK OUT.)
Over the past few days, during the realization of this “space,” I began to wonder how much of my “spiritual practice” I may have actually integrated. As in … allowed in. Not as a judgment—Greg, dear GOD, please absorb! But as an observation—Greg, have you allowed some of the recent life events, the recent gifts to wander down from the intellect and really sink into … the heart?
At the end of some of the yoga classes here, the instructor invites the students to finish the class with their hands in prayer. We are then invited to recite/breathe out several “Oms,” typically three times.
It’s a lovely way to finish the class and an opportunity, it seems, to allow the practice that came before it, to sink in … in the stillness of just being …