We spent our first Sunday in Kauai exploring the Lawai International Centre and 88 shrines set along the hillside, on sacred land in the Lawai Valley. To be honest, I envisioned visiting this place alone, to have some solitude and quiet in order to explore and connect. Connect with what? I’m not quite sure – myself, maybe? Isn’t that the ultimate desire – to be fully connected with ourselves? My host encouraged me to let the kids stay, and explore with me. Ugh, ok. I guess. I was worried they would be loud, bored, and that they would mess with my plans to connect with myself. They might get in between me and myself.
After a short presentation, we entered the small temple. The energy inside was very powerful, and I needed to sit and be still. I wanted to meditate…preferably alone…but the kids followed me in and became shockingly quiet. As I settled into the rhythm of my breath, I heard them settling into theirs. How many times have I wished they would chill out and be quiet? And here they were, doing it without being prompted. There was something comforting knowing they were right there with me. We followed the path up a steep hill that began at the base of the temple. Jack moved quickly up ahead, and at one point I looked up and he was standing, bent over his walking stick. I would love to know what he is thinking about – Is he tired? Bored? Could he be praying? What do five year old pray about? Please let me buy the hot wheels speed track that I saw at the toystore that Mummy said if I was good, I could buy with my money.Within a few minutes, Mica was well behind me, moving slowly at her own pace. I watched her examining each shrine, and she stood in front of them taking deep breaths. I could see her little body become calm. This is the child who when I say, “take a deep breath sweetie, just breath,” starts to shallow breath and fakes hyperventilating. At one point, I sat down in front of one of the shrines, feeling the warmth of the earth radiating up through my body and the sun beaming onto my body. I let my body sink in and relax and I heard my mind begin to go. What am I doing here? Why have I come to Kauai? Something brought me here. I want to know WHAT!
I was thinking about all of this when it occurred to me that I just want to be ok with not knowing why. Why can’t you just be here? Do you need a reason? Do you have to know everything, all of the time? Why can’t you just BE???
Sitting there in the sun, I realized that perhaps one simple little thing that I am searching for is as simple as this – to have a calm and centered heart. I want to have a warm, loving, settled heart. Ok, I can work with that. Bring your attention towards your heart and just breath. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Five seconds in, five seconds out.
Sometimes when I meditate I start to feel lightheaded. It’s like there’s a string on the top of my head pulling me upwards and I feel light and airy and like I might just float away (or pass out). This started to happen sitting on the trail and I felt a calmness arrive. Ahhh, yes, that’s it. Just BE.
Then I felt this weight on me. I didn’t need to open my eyes to know who it was. We mothers know, don’t we? The feel of our babies, the shape of their bodies. It was Mica. I placed my hands around her and over her heart and felt it beating into my hands. I thought about the day she was born and how all I wanted to be able to do was to hold her. It was the most simple of things, but she was a preemie and holding her wasn’t so straight forward. Just let me hold my baby. Would someone please let me hold my baby. Here she was with me, she was so very with me. Her nine year old self, relaxed against mine. In that moment I felt like we were one. One unit, one life, one heart, one being. I couldn’t think of anything else I would ever need in this life, I felt utterly and completely full.It was a magical day. And I learnt a valuable lesson, one I will likely need to learn again and again, so it’s worth documenting here. By accepting exactly where I am in a particular moment, I will be blessed by the fullness of that moment. So often I project myself into the future or back in the past, that I miss the immediate now. I miss what is right in front of me, and sometimes what is right in front of me, is what I need the most.