i am sitting out on the lana`i (porch).
in the golden evening light, my very favorite.
staring at a forest of bamboo and mangroves.
its windy on the mountaintop, but below is the valley
and a very pretty, if distant, ocean view.

this is a hawaii like you will not see in pictures.
this is a hawaii you will never see as a tourist.
this hawaii is very wild, remaining untamed.
the people are strong willed and independent.
and at the same time, very connected to the community,
and to their ohana (family) and their ancient tribes.

the people still depend on the fishponds, (500-1000 yrs old).
as well as the deer (imported from india as a gift to the king)
and the wild boar for their food.

the beaches are never crowded, only locals really.
even in the good surf spots, you usually have the place to yourself.
the highest sea cliffs in the entire world are just five minutes from me.
in fact, my house is basically perched on the backside of one of them.
one of the three volcanoes that make up the backside (north shore) of Molokai.

i can see how people fall in love with this place.
if my family and friends were here, i would too.
but having that close community is what keeps the natives here.
and i’m learning that without that community, no place,
no matter how beautiful or adventure-filled, can ever replace that.

it’s scary to finally get to some place new
and find out that the thing that
you’ve been running from
is yourself.

and to realize that there is a time
when hope is diminished, when it is lost.
and wonder what that is supposed to mean now.

i came with expectations to carve a new life, a new love, in a new place.
but i know now, i have to face the past. face myself. before that can ever happen.

and scariest of all:
i have to be alone with God.
and i have to listen to what He is telling me.