As I looked back on my 2-years on the Big Island of Hawai'i, I could not help to feel a sense of regret, displacement, and loss as a result of the Kilauea eruptions that forced us to evacuate our home.
Healing takes time. Healing takes family. Sometimes, healing takes distance. The following is an account of the transition that took place inside of me, as I replaced negative feelings with acceptance, understanding and love.
Why did you take me to the Big Island? I asked.
Let go, said the voice, and I will tell you.
So, I doubled over in pain, clutching my heart, and cried bitterly.
Let go, and I will tell you, said the voice.
Still, I cried.
Let go, and I will tell you.
Once upon a time, I would have continued crying; feeling helpless to put distance between the pain, and a different choice.
I held my heart with my hands, and slowly began to massage my heart, saying: Let go, let go, let go.
As I did this, my heart physically hurt, and my mind was flooded with images of the past 2-years on the Island:
The people, the places, the jungle, the rain.
I massaged deeper still, and began to sweep the old, stagnant, hurtful energy away from my body. My body shivered with each stroke.
Let go, and I will tell you. But you have to let go first.
I believed me. I knew that if I could encourage and support myself to let go, I would have the answer.
This sweeping motion, while simultaneously repeating this “Letting go” mantra, lasted several minutes until…
Suddenly, the answer was clear:
Why did you bring me to the Big Island?
Because you learned.
I felt the chemistry inside my body change as I embraced this truth:
You got married on the Big Island. Nobody can take this away from you.
You learned to cook a little. No one can take this way from you.
You swam with dolphins. No one can take this way from you.
You became a farmer. No one can take this away from you.
You stuck your feet in cold buckets of ice water. No one can take this away from you.
You dug a ditch. No one can take this away from you.
You opened a coconut with a machete. No one can take this away from you.
You dug for sweet potatoes. No one can take this away from you.
You slept with a ghost. (I am convinced our house was haunted) No one can take this away from you.
You learned massage. No one can take this away from you.
You learned to swim in the big waves of Kehena. No one can take this away from you.
You learned. You learned. You learned. No one can take this away from you.
I trust myself.
I have all the answers inside of me.
Thank you Big Island.
And so, for the first time since the volcano erupted, the earth shook beneath our feet, we watched hundreds of people evacuate, and many lose their homes, we packed our most precious belongings into suitcases, and said abrupt goodbyes to our family and friends, I felt the peace and gratitude that only comes when we accept what is.
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.