I went jogging this morning, around the pool in the complex where we are staying, then up the street to the community center and back. Maybe one and a half miles round trip. Long grassy lawns stretched up to healthy-looking trees that touched the stormy skies. Somewhere, I am sure, a rainbow arched, though I did not see it from where I ran. The sun shone through gray-black clouds, making dew drops sparkle all over the grass.
No doubt about it, the view here makes the soul expand.
Yesterday, I jogged down to the ocean. Chickens crossed my path, clucking. I ran down the hill slowly, careful not to slip on the half-rotting leaves covering the muddy trail. Below, the trees nearly covered all view of the ocean, making me bend to see the blue meeting blue of the horizon. I felt shy but went swimming in the ocean in my underwear and sports bra.
The rain started almost immediately, small drops at first, then big fat ones. My clothes, which I had left safely where the soft waves could not reach them on the shore, were soaked, as were my shoes and socks. I put all on and ran up the steep hill slowly. The chickens were nowhere in view.
I felt exhilarated. The rain washed over me warm and effortless, making me feel as though I could run forever. This is not a feeling I normally get when I run. Usually my legs weigh me down, my tight achilles tendons scream with unhappiness and dislike, but worst of all my thoughts harass me, telling me, “you can’t do this, you’re too tired, running is not for you, you can’t run that much more.”
Somehow, each time I visit the Hawaiian islands, I feel my better self. Happiness overflows me. I am energetic, sunny, adventurous, willing to try new things. Each time I try to take this wondrous me home. Perhaps, each time, I succeed a little more. I’d like to think so, at least. Of course, I know it is easier to be my better self on vacation than it is at home with bills, chores, puppies, and kids. Here, after all, no one expects me to do otherwise than have fun. But I’d like to take with me this feeling of happiness, of taking care of myself, working out, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish just out of the ocean, and drinking water that came down at least one waterfall on its way to the faucet.
And I want to remember the expansive sky, the ocean on all four sides, the feeling that I may perhaps be limited by land, but all around the world is open for me to fly as far and wide as I can.
And I can.