Sunday, April 17, 2011


in the hawaiian language the word aloha has several meanings. we know that aloha is hello and goodbye; it is said often enough on the mainland. i remember friends coming back from hawai'i, tanned and on an aloha kick. they'd toss the greeting around seemingly just to remind me how awesome their vacation was. but as the tans faded so did the use of aloha. it wasn't until i came here: the island of oahu, that i learned aloha is more than a fun and different way of saying hi and bye. aloha is love, compassion, peace, and mercy.

how did i get to oahu? by plane of course. i came to be with my family. all five of us. we planned this trip a few months ago as a last hooray before my brother sets out on a mission to brazil. there is no way i could have imagined just how much i would need this trip. coming here happened at the perfect time.

at the dole plantation. 
the past month has been an experience (that's putting it politely). i have felt the depths of despair and true sorrow. i have failed in more than one way. i was overwhelmed, confused, and felt useless. any wonderful happy moments seemed fleeting. i questioned my reason for being. events that cause revolutionary changes of thought occurred almost too frequently for me to comprehend. i felt homeless and helpless. my soul ached.

i was like a child playing hide-and-go-seek without a good hiding spot. knots turning my stomach and whether i was ready or not, it was time for change. so... i travelled nearly three thousand miles across seven states, to get to my flight to paradise and arrived here a week and a half ago. it has been everything i wanted and hope for, but more importantly hawai'i has been everything i needed. the rain. the sun. the wind. the waves. the food. the pcc. the aloha spirit.

i learned that aloha literally means presence of life. it comes from alo meaning presence, and ha meaning breath of life. but in the aloha state, aloha is more than a word its a way of living. aloha has become a symbol of love and respect; a way of sending and receiving positive energy. on sunday, when i went to church i saw this positive energy being shared as each speaker greeted the congregation with "aloha" and the congregation lovingly returned "aloha". perhaps you have to be in hawai'i to feel the difference between an echoed hello or good morning, and a repeated aloha. it is also said that when you live the spirit of aloha you create eternal positive thoughts and feelings that multiply and effect others. the idea and feeling of aloha is that same truth that Christ teaches. love thy God and love thy fellow man. i believe i have felt the aloha spirit while being here.

it has helped bring me closer to my God as i marvel in all His many creations. the beauty of the islands and the kindness of His children. i have faith that God has a plan for each of us and that He constantly wants to bless us. we just need to turn to Him wholeheartedly and have the willingness to trust Him and be obedient. this experience has helped me to see just how immensely blessed i am. my time in oahu has given me a new appreciation for life and a fervor to become my best.

i am grateful that i could come to oahu and be reminded of the joys of living.
seeing chickens roam free outside a taco bell pizza hut. trying to get lost, only to end up where i'd been before. helping make a friend smile. appreciating beauty in all its many forms. reading. epiphanies! *pineapple grow on the ground, who knew?* trying new things. having my breath taken away and the sweet taste of the next gasp of air. burning my shoulders (not favorite). getting salt water in my eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs. forming blisters, sores, and bruises. getting a nice tan before summer. falling in love with loco moco. feeling pain, grief, and sorrow, yet feeling so much more love, peace, and happiness.
i have learned to take both the good and bad in life, but to be especially thankful for the good.
there are a few people i want to especially thank for the experience i've had here.

mr. and mrs. sopu: thank you for your  kindness and for sharing your home, bike, and delicious food with me.
mr. mander: thank you for sharing a priceless experience (everyone should go parasailing!) with a broke college student.
miss cox and friend: thanks for ruby tuesdays, long drives, illegal activity, and jamming out to great tunes.
my friends in texas: thanks for encouraging me to take this detour ;)
gladys at pcc: thank you for sharing your wisdom.
mommy, daddy, darb, and babycakes: thanks making this possible and thanks again for all our excellent memories (noni, lobster skin, etc.). 

you: mahalo! for reading my blog :) and aloha.

25. finding the meaning of aloha in hawaii. 

if you're facebook friends with me, almost all of you are (since only about a dozen people read this blog), you can check out my slight detour album to see more beautiful photos.