About a year ago I started feeling like a place somewhere in the world was calling to me. I didn’t hear this, I felt it. Like a pulling, a yearning or a desire to go somewhere. Some nights I would lay in bed and scan the whole world, piece by piece, searching for the place that was calling out to me. I never found it, and never got any logical answers.
A few months later I was watching a TV show on a Sunday. It was one of those house hunters shows where people are looking to buy a new house, narrow it down to 3 and then decide. The town that the person was looking for a house was Princeville on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. This town is near the coastal mountains called the Na Pali coast. The view of the beach and mountains literally took my breath away. I had never seen anything more beautiful.
The next day I spent many hours researching this town and island, finding out more about this place – it had truly captured my heart and my imagination. That afternoon my husband came home from work and after having another stressful day announced that he was ready for a holiday. “How does Hawaii sound to you?” I asked. “Sounds great!” he said. I made an appointment straight away with our travel agent, and a few days later we were booked in to go to Hawaii in July.
I had tried to book holidays to Hawaii in the past but it always came in over budget and so we never got the chance to go. Our travel agent found us some great deals and we were well under budget! Everything flowed so smoothly and easily. Because my heart was longing to experience that magical mountain I had seen on TV I was adamant that we were to stay in the Princeville area. Unfortunately because we were booking so late at the peak holiday season, everything my travel agent had access to was booked out on the north shore of Kauai, but after a few google searches I found something for 2 nights.
Our first day on Kauai (after over 30 hours of travelling) we were to hike up the mountain that had pulled me to her. It was our only chance. Due to a storm the year before, the road to the mountain had been closed because of a landslide, and had only just re-opened, but they had to do maintenance on the bridge, and were closing access again, and we only had one day to experience this hike.
This hike was one of the most physically taxing and yet most rewarding things I have ever done with my body. I think I got my kilometers and miles a bit mixed up – so what I thought was an easy 2km hike in and out – turned out to be a very steep 2 miles in and out. We didn’t pack enough water for the 4 of us, left the food in the car and underestimated the shock of the heat. Despite that, we wowed at every glimpse of the view and when we descended to the beach, loved exploring the caves and resting on the beach. We hiked back to the carpark and had an amazing swim in Ke’ke beach before driving back along the coast towards Princeville.
We stopped at a few caves and beaches along our drive. I had taken my hiking shoes off and was wearing some sandals. One of the beaches that we wanted to see was accessed by a steep sandy walkway with lots of tree branches underfoot. I twisted my ankle. I heard a loud crack and sat down straight away. While waiting for my family to come back from the beach I sat on the edge of the track and saw my ankle swelling up. First day of our holiday and I had sprained my ankle (luckily it was after the most important hike).
I iced my ankle for a few days and bought a pull-on bandage which I wore for most of the rest of our 2 week holiday. This injury did not stop me from enjoying the rest of the holiday. But what it did do was make me very conscious of every step that I took. I made sure I was stepping firmly and intentionally. It really slowed me down enough to appreciate every step that I was taking on the amazing islands of Hawaii. I felt more connected to the earth with every intentional step.
We spent a week on the island of Kauai. After our 2 nights in Princeville, we moved to the south shore of Kauai and 6 nights at Po’ipu beach. On our last night in Kauai I was lying in bed almost asleep and had a vision. The mountain of the Na Pali coast that had drawn me to her, was present. I thanked her for everything that she had given to me, everything that she had helped me learn about myself. I had a whole list of things that I was thanking her for. Then to my surprise she asked me what I was going to give her in return, to repay her for everything she had given to me. I was shocked! What could I possible have that she would want? I then looked down into my heart centre and noticed that it was full of large sparkly diamonds. I reached in and pulled out one of the diamonds and I offered it to her. She very excitedly and gratefully accepted this diamond and placed it inside of her – I then became her and she became me. It was a truly amazing experience.
I think that when we are drawn to physical places it is because we have something to offer. We become one with the land – we take and we give – in a perfect circle of life experience.
When I told a friend about this experience she commented that surely I would be back to this place again after such a strong connection with the land. I agreed with her at first, but then I wasn’t so sure. Maybe this is all that the mountain and I needed from each other, maybe our connection and our exchange was the purpose and we won’t need to do it again.
I believe that knowing who we are at our unique soul level holds the key to living an authentic and joyful life. Once we know who we are, we can begin to BE who we are, and then BECOME who we were always destined to be.
Copyright 2023 Paula Vanderzon