Of virtual vacations and real imagination
Oi kau ka lau, E hana l ola Honua
Live your life while the sun's still shining
~ Traditional Hawai'ian Proverb
Did you miss out on a vacation this year? You are not alone.
My husband and I have always taken a much needed vacation at Christmas time. We are both teachers. When school lets out we head out of town.
Christmas has traditionally been difficult time for me because I am allergic to pine trees. Needless to say, I wanted to go to a place where folks do not bring evergreens into warm homes in ritual celebration.
For the last 30 years we have spent two weeks on the island of Maui soaking in the rhythm of the ocean waves to reset our nervous systems, reconnect to ourselves and each other. In this year of the Coronavirus, we needed a vacation but we had to do it virtually.
Over the years, I have learned that when I practice imaginative thinking, remarkable things happen.
First, boundaries needed to be established to create the spaciousness of a vacation. I posted my “out-of-the-office” holiday notice on my email server. I noted the dates I would be away on holiday. When I chose to answer emails during the designated holiday time, I did so with salutations of “Aloha” and “A hui hou.”
Each morning, I set aside time to be present with myself. My meditation took on the nature of a question, “Who am I today?” I gave myself permission to sleep more, daydream and post Hawaiian proverbs with lovely pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
I let time flow.
During our virtual holiday we nurtured our senses. I ran humidifiers to boost the moisture in our home. I created arrangements of tropical flowers to visually remind my subconscious of the abundance in nature. We savored macadamia nut crusted fish with pineapple salsa and holiday Ahi Poke. We listened to a playlist of Hawaiian songs and watched videos of sunsets and ocean waves.
At 4:45 pm each afternoon, we stopped to ritually watch the sun set behind the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the same way we would sit on the lanai each evening in Hawaii. At night we played ocean sounds as we slept to fill our dreams with island magic.
Throughout our virtual vacation we reviewed our digital photos of large female turtles sleeping on the beach and monk seals lazing in the sun. We talked about our memories of Maui – the breathtaking view of sunrise atop Haleakala, our birthday dinners at Merriman's Restaurant, and the time we splurged on a helicopter trip to Hana.
Towards the end of our virtual vacation I noticed that my dreams at night were sharper, more colorful and full of symbolic messages. I feel that my husband and I have reinforced our connection to each other because we took time to share our memories, tell stories and ignite our imagination. I believe our virtual vacation was quite a success.
As I write this today, I feel a clearer sense of myself as the wheel of time turns.
Hau'oli Makahiki Hou,