I watched the moon as I drove the slow road into Poipu. She is on her back as if she's relented to the exhaustion of the year. If 2014 has been as much of a inconsiderate, malicious, greedy little bastard to the moon as it was to me, well then she deserves to lay down and rest for a while.
As I sit alone on Christmas, in a restaurant perched on the rocks with the water below, I am reminded of the demands I have placed upon myself to close out this year. Just as the moon reflects on the waterfront, dancing to the whim of the wind and tide, I am attempting to reflect back on my year and find the beauty in closing a chapter.
The last time I was on this island, I believed in the truth and unwavering commitment of love, and was thrilled to spend the next week with my wife in tropical, wedded bliss. However, the memories that I have of our time on the island are sketchy at best, because within a month of our return, my wife had filed for divorce.
When I planned this trip, I knew it would be awash with emotional review. It took me a month to actually buy the plane ticket, because I was afraid of what I would experience once I arrived. I expected to replay the moments we shared together on this island, the intimate moments when our fingers were interlaced as we walked along the beach. The moments when I was still so madly in love. I anticipated the anger to rise up and cause me to shun places and experiences that we had together. I half-heartedly assumed that there was no way I'd even want to leave the house, and yet the house alone held so many tumultuous memories.
WHAT I DIDN'T PLAN ON - AND WHAT I WAS DELIGHTFULLY SURPRISED ABOUT - WAS THAT I WOULD INSTEAD ARRIVE ON THE ISLAND OF KAUAI ALREADY FEELING LIKE A BRAVE, POWERFUL NEW WOMAN.
Gone are the moments of rage - the deep seated yearning to throw a giant rock through any breakable thing. These moments are replaced by a tremendous desire to hold - to hug - to touch - to love.
Gone is the stabbing knife in my chest - the abrupt jolt that comes when I least expect it, and when I'm wholly unprepared. It is replaced by a cloak of courage and a shield of bravery.
Gone is the grief - the intense, overwhelming sadness that permeated my once-thick skin and shook me to my core. Replaced by the brightest outlook - the most optimistic, glass-is-half-full way of welcoming each day.
This island is healing, of that there is no doubt. I had no idea exactly how much I needed or wanted to be healed, and yet here it is - the silver rain to wash over me and gift me with a clean beginning. Without my even asking, the island - on behalf of every thing and everyone - has forgiven me... and allowed me to graciously forgive myself.
I had no idea that this had already happened. To be perfectly honest, I assumed that I would need some sort of "epic event" to create a space where I could feel whole again. I figured that climbing a mountain or shouting at the Universe from the edge of a cliff would be the moment that I felt like my soul was finally complete. I even PLANNED an epic event before I left, complete with lists and scripts and a hike to a place high in the mountaintops where I could let go of the things that hurt me this year.
And yet... just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I don't need to take that hike in order to let go, or to learn those lessons. It's been with me all along.
Now, as I sip a glass of sparkling wine at my table on Christmas night, I look out on the water and watch the reflection of the moonlight dancing on the surface, and I am unafraid. I don't fear the mystery of my future. I don't question what will arrive next, or who. I am ready for the next second - the next month - the next year.
By the time the moon waxes and wanes and is a crescent again - she will no longer be lying on her back, nor will I. We will be together, united and well-rested.