There was a beautiful rainbow outside my ohana this morning. I was standing on the Lanai admiring it when I thought I should probably capture the moment to share on social media. I went inside to get my phone, which I discovered I'd left downstairs, and upon retrieving the device and returning to the second floor lanai, I discovered the rainbow was gone. Rainbows are like that - they come and go here on Maui in an instant. Sometime they are brilliant and stretching over the mountainside in epic grandeur – other times they hang like sheer silk flags beside a patch of clouds. Regardless of strength or position, all rainbows pass out of sight eventually.
All things come into reality and then fade from its grasp - that is the very nature of reality itself. Now you see it, now you don't. Nowhere is that truth more visceral than here in Hawaii - these tiny islands momentarily reaching out from the ocean's depths, only to return to the sea eventually. With each crashing wave a piece of this island is taken, and yet Pele is hard at work on the southern tip of the Big Island crafting new landscapes for future generations to flourish upon.
My experience, too, is a fleeting one. Just a glimpse at all the complexity and majesty that is reality. While I feel there will be others, this particular perspective - this experience - is unique and has a beginning and an end, albeit of an undetermined nature. And yet, even with complete awareness of this, I time and again find myself living as if this experience is not unique and sacred and fleeting, but rather mundane and endless – letting days and sometimes weeks pass in repetition and routine, work and distractions, as if it was to last forever. As if my time wasn't precious.
I've woken up again - or rather, I'm in the process of waking up. My eyes are adjusting to the daylight, the malaise of the uninspired life still lingers like a hangover, but I'm remembering that there is more to this experience than the illusions culture and media and society have put forth as truth. There is more going on behind the curtain than on the stage – I'm remembering there is a stage at all.
Traveling to Japan was a catalyst - a bridge to both past and future that jumpstarted my imagination and reminded me of all the places yet to explore. In their dazzling cities I was reminded of all the people I've yet to meet – the cultures still to be explored and the adventures still to be had. In their ancient temples I was reminded of all the truth that exists within silence and the subtle clues of harmony and symmetry and simplicity that point to larger truths which can only be felt, not expressed in words.
Its is time to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. It is time to abandon media and rediscover community. It's time to ignore social media and instead be social - get out and explore this reality placed before me while I still have the time.
"Thus shall you think of this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream."
- The Diamond Sutra