I arose this morning and started to search through my self portraits to find one that was most representative of how I was feeling. It has been a little rough around here. My raw edges have been showing - tears shed for the lack. I feel that I have struggled my entire life with the ache and tug of the elusive 'something more' and it has been especially acute for the last thirty six hours. I do make a concerted effort most days to be in the moment, to appreciate the half full glass instead of it's dark cousin. Truth be told, I do not succeed as often as I would like.
But then, while searching...
I stumbled across my photo file named 'HAWAII!' and realized that one year ago to the day my precious PickleBoy and I were on our way to Kauai for his first visit to the Islands. We spent an entire glorious week there. You would naturally assume that a week in Kauai would be 'glorious' but we were up against challenges from the start.
It rained the entire time, we saw no whales on our whale watching trip, our helicopter ride was fraught with danger and screeching warning bells, the Hanakapiai trail was too muddy and precarious to hike but guess what we did? We loved up every single minute.
When it rained - we put the top down on the rental Jeep and drove in the rain with flowers in our hair. When there were no whales we took pictures of ancient and glorious cliffs and the dolphins that surrounded us. When the warning bells went off in the helicopter, I took a long panicked look at my child (and the pilot) and then started laughing and shooting more photos. When the trail was too muddy, we went and stood in the warm salty ocean instead and giggled as brightly colored fish swam between our knees. We were surrounded all week by disgruntled people who spoke loudly of wasted time and money and we just looked at each other and smiled because we were so happy.
By the last day we were tired, maybe even a little bit ready to go home. It was four o'clock on a bleary rainy afternoon. The beach was deserted and the breeze was cold. PB ran up from the water and asked if I would swim with him one last time. I begged off - I was just too cold - the sky was just too grey. And then, as I watched him return to the water alone I heard the voice in my head say "get off your butt this one last time and swim with your kid silly woman!" And as we laughed and frolicked around in the waves that one last time - me facing the shore, PB smiling at me and the open ocean - his face lit up and he yelled "LOOK MAMA!!!" and I turned to see a huge majestic sea turtle not three feet away. It swam with us and shared it's magic momentarily. We screamed with joy and then - I cried. Salty happy tears that this - THIS - was life and we were truly living it.
Having perspective may be scary sometimes but it is honest and true and the way I choose to live. If you keep faith and perspective when times are rough, then joy and miracles can be found anywhere. And, if you are very lucky, the water in that half full glass will be salty.