On the day I was to check in the the Kauai Writer’s Retreat, I received an email:
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event is cancelled.”
The facilitator offered compensation but the question remained,
“Should I stay or should I go?”
Thankfully my brain is finally tuned to: “Trust the Universe”.
So I stayed.
One night, dressed in beach fancy-pants attire or my version of a muumuu, I strolled to the neighboring Grand Hyatt Hotel to write in my journal, to enjoy a glass of wine, and to socialize, or as they say in the islands, to “talk story” with a stranger.
“To be anonymous and traveling in an interesting place is an intoxication.” – Paul Theroux
In the sophisticated, library-esque wood-paneled Stevenson’s bar, a gentleman seated to my left was radiant in celebrating his daughter’s birth. A gentleman seated to my right had a journal next to his glass, a sighting that piqued my interest. After a few words of introduction, he offered to list a few local hikes in my journal. As he wrote, I asked if I’d need to purchase insect repellent of some kind. “That won’t be necessary,” he answered. “Good,” I said, “that’d be a real buzzkill.” He laughed heartily which unfortunately encouraged me, which even more unfortunately led to an arm-wrestling-utterly-lacking-in-etiquette match. My behavior might be excused by the fact that I was a charm school drop out. But he, he was a Harvard graduate with a Divinity degree.
Some call him, “Reverend”. Most call him, “The Rev”. I called him,“SonofSatanBrotheroftheDevil” one word. (Names are unnamed to protect the innocent.)
The man likes to play. Hard. We grandly dined and sloshed mighty fine wine. But. We also shared stirring ruminations on books, poetry, religion, philosophy, and other sordid subjects.
“What a person thinks on his own, without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of other people, is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous.” – Albert Einstein
On my last day, he suggested this waterfall as a place for me to read and meditate. On my way there I received a text asking me to consider: “If I had one question for God, what would it be?”
I figured his answer would be selfless and desire world peace or something like that (it was), but there was no hesitation in my selfish (but loaded) response: “Where is my husband?”
I didn’t get much writing done that week; but a beautiful human connection was made.
Everyone has a story to tell and one from which we can learn. I’m sure if you think upon your travels, you’ll remember brief encounters that enlightened your soul and left an impression on your heart. Where perspectives were shifted and shaped and personal evolution continues. Where strangers transform into…I don’t know if ‘friends’ is the right word…into Illuminators. Like the green sea turtle I swam with. Like the precious little girl I danced with. Like the preacher man I shared stimulating conversation and fun times with. Yeah. Illuminators. They shine, and reflect, a OneLove light.
“You go away for a long time and return a different person — you never come all the way back.” —Theroux
And that, is the reverence and allure of travel to me.
Thank You, Universe. Heavenly Gratitude for this Kauai adventure.
“Lord, gotta keep on moving, where I can’t be found.” – Bob Marley