Joseph O'Brien 10 p.m., Sept. 20
- Community Blog
- Calling Hawaii Home
Finding Sanctuary in Hawaii
When I lived in San Diego, my sanctuary was a lake near my grandparents house. A long trail, in a remote area of trees, led to a quaint lake surrounded by boulders and hills. Every day I would walk to Lake Hodges and relax, unwind and appreciate nature and life.
I would stuff a book and a bottle of water into a back pack and walk through my housing development, heading for the trail that would lead me to the lake. I would sometimes bring my journal and write or sketch, while listening to artist’s such as Jewel or Sara McLachlan, on my iPod.
Today as I went for my daily walk, I listened to one of Jewel’s songs, “Standing Still”. Immediately, a flood of emotion ran over me, a deep rooted aching. A deep longing for home, for the lake, the sights of ducks, coyotes and snakes. For the rocks decorated with faded paint from the ancient Native American tribes who once inhabited the area. I longed for the warmth of the sun, beckoning to my fair skin. The bitter chill of the cold wind weaving through my strands of black hair. I missed the rush of water washing through a break in the rocky hill, which made a serene water fall. I missed the peace giving stream and the old make shift bridge I use to sit on as I gazed at the full green trees and waist high sun bleached weeds that sporadically covered the area. My heart sank. I was on a different continent then that of my heart’s sanctuary. Honestly, my heart didn’t sink, it broke. One of my main flaws, is that I grow too attached to places, or memories. I always end up breaking binds from the past.
I remember making friendly conversation with the other people on the trail, usually commenting on their dogs, for I am more of an animal person than a people person. The serenity of it all is what I probably miss most of Lake Hodges.
On this island, this rock in the middle of the ocean… like in the song, I frequently find myself asking, “…Am I standing still?”. I feel my life has paused and I can’t accomplish my goals or meet my dreams because I’m not home.
“Cuttin’ through the darkest night are my two headlights. Trying to keep it clear, but I’m losing it here to the twilight. …I roll the window down, feel like I’m gonna drown in this strange town. Feel broken down, I feel broken down.”
I am in a different place now. A new place I will have to eventually learn to call home. A place where people think of it as a vacation hide away or even as a paradise. I have tried to locate a new place to call, “sanctuary” here in Hawaii. I tried the balcony from my apartment, which over looks a bright green grassy field, but nope, doesn’t work for my soul. I’ve tried the state library that is a walk away, but nope, my soul will have no part of the people who inconsiderately continue to make noise inside an environment which is suppose to be quiet. I’ve tried Ala Moana Beach which is also with in walking distance, but the beach only reminds me of the beaches back home, therefore, no go. So I tried the Palace gardens in Downtown Honolulu, which is also, with in walking distance. There are trees in the court yards, big and strong, and built around the trunks (cruelly from a Native American’s perspective), are wooden benches winding all around them. The Palace is beautiful, and grand. The yard is green and plentiful with trees. It has been a place of relaxation, peace, and beauty for me. It isn’t my ideal choice for a place to feel peace but so far I think it should suffice.