On Maui, no one seems to be in a hurry, even folks going through the motions and routine of day-to-day life. If someone’s mind wanders while stopped at a stop sign, the driver behind just goes with the flow, taking advantage of the pause. There were no signs of road rage anywhere.
I quickly learned to lean into the pause, to enjoy it, to experience it is an opportunity to take a breath and notice what is happening in the world around me: a clump of wildflowers blooming by the side of the road, a bird flitting from branch to branch, the clouds moving to form yet another spectacular show of light, shadow and extraordinary color.
Slowing down to such an extreme put my “normal” routine in stark relief. It affirmed what I had been coming to acknowledge and accept over these past few months: it is time to make changes, to discern the essential and necessary for today rather than trying to do so much, so quickly.
This involves trusting God and considering that God is in charge. As my new friend Paul, a gentle “old hippy spirit” I visited at a hospital in Kula, told me: “You are loved and God’s working it all out.”
So, back on the mainland, I am taking a few small but concrete steps to maintain that “Maui mellow” – to free up the type B person within who has been crowded out by a type A life. I am not kidding myself. I know it will be easy to move to my default behavior.
Even so, I am looking forward to a new practice – a spiritual discipline – of pausing, waiting and discovering the beauty all around.