Celebrating the holidays like I used to with parties and having the house decked to the hilt with theme appropriate decorations definitely occurred in another time and place. It was such a lifetime ago, in fact, I no longer have photos from those fun events. Yet the warm images live on in my mind and heart as I hope they do for my kids and others who were part of the merriment.
Halloween has found me in a number of states and even countries now. This year, Hawaii gets the honor. As I think back on the months here so far, “Trick or Treat” seems apropos. So many interesting situations evolving into developments I could not have fathomed before. Some felt like tricks while others were sensed as treats. But is everything truly that black and white? Perhaps there is a bless in every mess. Perhaps what we think we want comes with side effects we’d rather pass on. Reminds me of the tale of the farmer and his son. It goes something like this (thanks to http://www.rainbowbody.com/newarticles/farmerson.htm)
One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he let his horse loose to go to the mountains and live out the rest of its life.
Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, "What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are! You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?" The farmer replied, "Who knows? We shall see".
Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger, healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.
Word got out in the village of the old farmer's good fortune and it wasn't long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck. "How fortunate you are!" they exclaimed. “You must be very happy!" Again, the farmer softly said, "Who knows? We shall see".
At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer's only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer's son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer's latest misfortune. "Oh, what a tragedy! Your son won't be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You'll have to do all the work yourself. How will you survive? You must be very sad", they said. Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, "Who knows? We shall see".
Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor's men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor's army. As it happened the farmer's son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg. "What very good fortune you have!!", the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. "You must be very happy." "Who knows? We shall see!", replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.
As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again, the neighbors came to pay their condolences. "Oh, what bad luck. Too bad for you!" But the old farmer simply replied, "Who knows? We shall see".
As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able-bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: "Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy", to which the old farmer replied, "Who knows? We shall see”.
Hawaii, I was faced, once again, with many “horrors” reflecting situations in my past….child neglect, cult religion, woman abuse, a psychopathic individual deviously controlling others, legal inequity, and isolation to name a few. But were these really all awful? Actually not. I was able to celebrate how much I’ve grown and remembered. This time, I was not personally caught up in the drama and pain although I was an active part of the solution. I was able to see objectively through the eyes of unattached compassion. And, who knows? Perhaps other benefits may unfold yet unbeknownst to me. We shall see. Sometimes we don’t realize until much later in life the full extent of how certain uncomfortable circumstances were actually bright blessings in disguise.
Oh, and some of the obvious treats? A surprise helicopter tour of the island sure qualified. Although my second helicopter trip of the area, everything seemed new again as I was observing both on a different day and from a brighter attitude. Magical views included verdant valleys dripping with waterfalls and volcanoes and lava fields complete with bright orange molten flow. Idyllic beaches and majestic cliffs made up some of the shoreline and where the lava entered the water, clouds of steam arose. The bird’s eye view helped me put various locations I was aware of on the Big Island in perspective as far as their relationship/distance to each other. I was also gifted with a last-minute entrance to a luau that one of my hosts danced. She is extremely talented as well as gorgeous and I had a front row seat! The rest of the performers were amazing too and really seemed to exude the joy of their presentation. A visit to the Four Seasons was decadent as well. The glorious sunset unfolded before me as I walked on the beach. In a remote beach area past the resort grounds, I came across so many of my turtle friends on the sand. Silently the gratitude welled up inside me for such an encounter as they all lay there resting. The rest of my experience was delightful…..including Hualalai Mud Pie and an enchanting “jeweled” jacuzzi all to myself!
The inimitable Lokelani dancing story through a beautiful hula.
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