Ramadan. This is the first year with no iftaars. Usually the community feel of iftaars are part of the beauty of Ramadan. Still, its only a part of Ramadan. I hope to find peace, closeness, and patience, and hope during this holy month. The fact that it is within my reach if I but am strong enough to grasp it, is beautiful.
Hawaii. Because its beautiful, and haunting, and spiritual and uplifting. How can you feel anything but when you find yourself standing on the cliffs of the Na Pali Coast surrounded by mango and guava trees on either side, flowers blooming and waves crashing in an aqua blue ocean in the distance while butterflies play by your hand? Or running your hands through a black sand beach? Or standing on the rim of a canyon, completely alone? Or discovering secret hideaways and wonderlands you could not have expected because you never imagined they were even possible?
Birthdays. Another year gone. Part of me feels wistful at all the things left undone, but then I remember and I try to be grateful. On the Big Island, I walked across one mile of crunching black lava with flashlights to a place where I could sit and watch the molten orange lava fly into the air and into the sea creating new land before my eyes. I remember sitting and watching it while stars, more stars than I even knew to exist scattered across the sky. As we walked back, I saw in the clearing, near our car, a boy in a wheelchair, alone, looking up in the sky, seeing only smoke, not the firework of lava we witnessed. I complained about my feet and when I saw him I remembered to be grateful for my aching feet. Today I will remember that, instead of whining about turning a year older, I will choose to be grateful that another birthday did arrive. That I was here to honor it. That though there is much that remains to be done, I am still here to accomplish it.