I recently had the privilege of visiting the island of Maui, part of the nation of Hawai'i. In this post I will be sharing some photos I captured, as well as the diary entries I wrote during my time there. Thank you, as always, for reading! xo
I firstly need to address that Hawai'i is a U.S.-occupied state, and is in reality a sovereign realm unto itself. Like the rest of Canada and America, these lands are colonized. I am a settler of European descent. I walk these lands as a colonizer, no matter how much I commit myself to the work decolonization. I own this identity and I aim to keep it at a the forefront of my actions when I interact on unceded territories. I am still unsure if travelling around these spaces is even appropriate. When I do, I try to keep my footsteps gentle, return resources that were stolen, and help those who are already doing that work. This might look like donating money or time to indigenous rights organizations and movements, and boycotting businesses and organizations that profit of anti-indigenous sentiments and pro-colonial structures. Onto the trip.
The island welcomed me with lush greens, double rainbows, windy beaches, wild birds, friendly faces, and - thank Goddess - cheap and GOOD inari nigiri at every 7-11. I did a lot of lying around, walking around, and sitting around in gratitude and awe. Diary entries follow, below.
Our plane was delayed to tomorrow. We found this out once we got to the airport. Oops.
Our plane was almost empty. A gift. Maui: Beautiful small homes covered in vines. Roosters everywhere. Humid, very humid air, and salty, fresh ocean waves. This is "America," but not really? What are borders for, and what do they mean? Who gets to decide?
Drove to get groceries and find a beach. We were not especially satisfied with either excursion. Groceries were expensive and the beach area was crowded. We did eventually find a lovely family-friendly park. Did some stretching and sun-gratitude. I think I saw a turtle in the ocean. Instant noodles for dinner... too spicy for me.
Got our rental car. Drove to ‘Īao State Park while we listened to Janelle Monae. Beautiful monsteras everywhere, and rushing river water through misty forested mountain tops. Which embodied souls roamed these valleys before we? What feelings ran through their bodies as this river runs through the trees?
Drove up to Haleakalā in the mists and rain, hiked the Waihee Ridge Trail, ended up at Baldwin Beach Park. A beautiful day. Later drove on the road to Hana at night while blasting Robyn. This place is breath-taking. Ancient. Wise. These mountains have been here for an eternity and beyond, while I am a temporary bird floating through. Yet still, these lands are their own sort of momentary spark when held up to the light of the universe. All is in/finite and in wonderful, inexplicable motion, is it not?
Long story short: we got out of a sketchy hostel situation and stayed with friends Amber made. They are a married ex-Mormon couple, with charismatic daughters, one cat and one dog. Lovely and generous people in a sweet neighbourhood. So grateful. I feel I am just beginning to settle into the energy here, and of course we fly home in a couple days.
Finally had our lazy beach day back at Baldwin, then danced in our field surrounded by warm wind and an empty beach. I burned my shoulders a little.
I am in the middle seat in the middle row at the back of the plane. Not being able to see out the windows makes me feel I’m in a loud tube that might not be moving at all. I’m not really excited to go home, because it means going back to school, work, and maintaining social relationships. I am most interested in spending more time alone and meditating. I am doing what I am doing now, though, in order to make that interest reality, in time. In time.