“Could you come house sit in Maui for 6 weeks?”
My heart leapt and then sank. The hospital would never let me away, not in the middle of a pandemic. But you never know unless you try and while 6 weeks was a no go, they compromised at 16 days. It was nothing short of a miracle. My friend would work on a substitute house sitter for the remaining 4 weeks. I hadn’t seen my on-island friends for two years and the sun, gentle waters, tropical flowers, and slow pace of life on island sounded like the perfect remedy for days filled with PPE, rolling gurneys, clogs squeaking on linoleum, and the smell of disinfectant.
There was a stressful and time consuming hold up at the Kahului airport as I had received mis-information about the Covid requirements which are continuously changing and not flexible. Nearly two hours after landing, I finally emgerged from the airport with a gasp of relief and bewilderment. The trade winds were blowing and my friends were there waiting for me at the curb full of smiles and aloha spirit and the trouble quickly receded into the background.
I had been told Maui was experiencing a drought and that it hadn’t rained in 4 months. I was still unprepared for the drive upcountry. It was brown, arid, and windswept. It looked like Africa. Startling on an island I think of as lush and tropical. The day was a whirlwind of instructions about the house and garden, introductions to the pets, and helping the friends get organized, packed, and figuring out the even more confusing Covid instructions for them to fly to Europe.
“There’s not enough time to rush.”
The yoga instructor smiled a secret smile. It went in one ear and out the other and then my mind doubled back. Wait. Oh. I like that. That was going to be my mantra for my time in Maui. There’s not enough time to rush.
My days took on a slow, relaxing rythmn. Coffee at the little, round, kitchen table looking out over the ocean. Collect an egg or two for breakfast. Pull a fragrant guava off the tree. Maybe meet a friend at the beach to talk story and swim. Water the garden in the afternoon barefoot on the crunchy grass in a cotton shift and big straw hat. Give the girls their afternoon tortilla. Who knew chickens were mad for tortillas? It would be easy to become a feral thing in Maui-barefoot, no make-up, hair a tangled salty mess, pulling bananas and guavas off the tree to eat. Three days in I went to a salon and had them cut my hair short. It suits better flying wild in the salt and wind here.
In the evening I sit on the back porch, maybe a glass of wine in hand, maybe just lost in my thoughts, and watch the silver puddle of mercury that is the sea, the sun behind moutains of billowing white clouds spray rays of gold and pink like it’s the throne of God hiding back there. There’s not enough time to rush.