During an early morning walk sprinkled with soft misty rain, I decided to climb a hill. I didn’t indulge in overthinking and gave in to curiosity. When I arrived at a second plateau, I felt a sudden urge to turn my head. About twenty feet to my left stood a magnificent tree shrouded in fog.
The tree loomed over me, captivating me with its intricately splayed branches. Most of the branches followed the expected trajectory outward and upward, but a few curved and turned like tentacles trying to reach out from beneath the tree’s own canopy.
I took my time admiring this tree, my hair a giant frizzy mess and my feet exposed to the elements in white flip-flops. I hadn’t planned on hiking up a hill during my walk, but I was grateful I took the detour through dirt, mud, rocks, and suspicious ground cover.
My happy energy must have carried through the fog, because later in my walk, a beautiful blue bird perched on a branch above me and let me study it for a long time. I also found a small patch of palapalai ferns. Considered a kinolau (physical embodiment) of the Hawaiian goddess Hi’iakaikapoliopele and used for adornments when dancing hula, the ferns made me feel like I had stumbled upon a kindred spirit.
Living in Hawai’i taught me that people go everywhere and do everything in flip-flops. I guess that’s why I didn’t think twice about taking an impromptu hike up a hill.
Detours can yield very nice surprises. I should take them more often.
© Living off Island, Writing Wahine, 2015.