Early this morning, I went outside to continue cleaning up the debris left by the hurricane: palm frowns, papaya leaves, broken branches, shingles, oranges, papayas, and avocados strewn all over the yard.
Hurricane Lane caused our second home evacuation this year: Once on the Big Island as a result of the volcanic eruptions, and most recently, here on Maui on account of the fires spread by hurricane force winds.
As I walked, I found myself gravitating towards the guava tree near the edge of the yard. Once full, robust and full of fruit, it now looks like a sheering mountain goat at the beginning of spring: a seemingly different animal to what it once had been. Most of its leaves were gone, many of its branches were broken, and most of the fruit laid rotting at its base.
To my surprise though, the tree still had 3 guavas attached to it. I was incredulous. The fact that these guavas were able to withstand a hurricane was nothing short of miracle. As I moved closer to inspect the fruit, I noticed that they were not at all pretty. All of them were bruised and battered. However, when I instinctively brought them close to my nose, the smell was as sweeter, and richer than ever.
“You are like this guava”, I “heard” myself say. My eyes swelled up with tears at this thought. “You too, have withstood hurricane force winds. You might feel battered, bruised and disheveled, but your fruit is so much sweeter because of it!”
I imagined how much more delicious these guavas would taste, knowing that they had been through such an incredible ordeal. These guavas were special. These guavas had not only withheld impossible winds, but they were also infused with the smell of fire, and drenched with the rains that came to put the fires out.
Sometimes, we might be tempted to think that our tough experiences make us less desirable, because we have bruises and scars were there once were none. But oh, how wrong we are to think this way! The winds have made the guavas strong, the smoke has given them a taste uniquely their own, and their bruises have given them story and character. There have never been guavas quite like these before. How delicious we are as a result of our experiences.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art-making process is a catalyst for transformation and personal empowerment. I am living proof.