Wednesday of last week I went back over to Lahaina to spend the day volunteering. It was hot, very hot, but rewarding. As I drove home I was reflecting on where I had been for the day. I had traveled across a good part of Maui in traveling from my home to Lahaina. Let me try and give some perspective…

  • My home is on the north east shore of Maui.
  • On Wednesday morning, I drove to Wailuku to catch the volunteer bus to Lahaina. Wailuku is in north west, and a little inland.
  • From there the bus drove from north to south around the West Maui mountains to Lahaina, in the south west.
  • I repeated the same journey, in reverse, to get home.

I went from the lushness of north east Maui to the dryness of the south east. I went from the rural habitation of the north east to the more built up Central Maui. From there through rural dryness, sparse populations and small beaches, to the towns of south east Maui.

The distances traveled were not great, the travel times were relatively small, but somewhere back in the day traveling from one side of the island to the other and back again in such a short period of time would not have been possible. Traveling took time. I found myself wondering as I was on the final stretch of the journey home, how does being able to experience so much in such a short time affect our experience and interaction with land and place?

A lot was seen in the time that I journeyed, but maybe not experienced? I can get used to seeing scenery, I can know it well through vision, explain what it looks like to others, but what is my experience of being on the land, of being in place?

By moving more slowly across the land, I’d suggest that we get to experience it more closely. And perhaps through the greater experience, our relationship with the land is closer, deeper? Expand that thinking out to the world in an age of global travel.