When we arrived on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu recently, it was pouring down rain. It was not a light, refreshing shower. It was as if the sky was relentlessly draining years of pent up tropical storms. As the deluge persisted for days on end, I observed a peace in myself that never existed in my life before this journey.
This rain would have ruined me, or at least my vacation, in my past life. I would have put such high expectations on my week in the tropics, that rain would have rocked my fragile countenance. I would have ranted about the fact that I am from Seattle and I didn’t travel all this way to spend time in the rain. I would have worried myself right out of the moment and then it would have been time to go home.
One of the things I have learned over the past few years on the road, that I could have learned at home, but didn’t take the time to process, is that “This too shall pass.” It is something my grandmother used to say gracefully and repeatedly throughout my childhood. Today, as the trade winds blow the storm clouds with gentle force, away from their stronghold, I finally understand what she meant.
Everything blows over, especially if we meet adversity with that knowing. It is when we feel resistance, that the clouds seem to loom and the winds seem to flee from our sails. The beauty of knowing, “This too shall pass,” is that it allows for so much more joy with what is.
Our peace with the rain allowed us to see moments of beauty reveal themselves as the crowds ran for cover. We watched opportunistic cattle egrets descend at sunrise on the rarely deserted drenched golf course for an abundant breakfast. We played under banyan trees that have massive, far-reaching canopies that protected us during tropical squalls. We spent hours sheltered by their twisted roots and inviting vines creating worlds and discovering creatures we had never before seen. We listened as waves pounded the shore one minute and then an eerie calm blanketed the ocean almost instantly. It was confusing and mesmerizing as the shadows descended on the water. We swam alone in many typically crowded coves and natural pools as the caked-on mud and rain washed off of us and back to where it came from in a cleansing sort of dance.
Just passing through. The winds of change. Everything blows over. This too shall pass.
It doesn’t matter what words we assign to the belief. What matters is our faith in the ebb and flow of all things. As we ducked beneath her stand to escape the storm, a local woman selling fruit shared a wise Hawaiian saying with us; ola i ke ahe lau makani which translates, there is life in a gentle breath of wind.