Ruminations on Travel and Place

    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.

    Spinning wheels today…that’s what it feels like right now. The day started off well, but the wheels got progressively bogged down in the mud as the day has gone on, at least that is how it feels from where I sit right now. Maybe I am too hard on myself and need to take a break, and do something different when the results aren’t coming?

    I was doing some reminiscing online a couple of days ago, checking in on some organizations that I use to be a part of when I lived in Portland, OR. Specifically I was looking through the pages of The Transition Network and Transition US, movements to build resilient communities reimagined by the communities themselves.

    In doing so I came across this Flickr page of photos of the Northwest Transition Summit that took place in Seattle - when, I can’t remember now? - and which I was a part of. It was wonderful to look through the photographs and see people who I have not been in touch with for some time now. Happy and inspiring times.

    Remembering my father: sitting at home on a Sunday morning, listening to Classical music and reading (though he would probably be doing the weekly difficult crossword puzzle in the Sunday newspaper).

    Watching the performers, the creatives, the writers, artists and musicians, those who have dared to put themselves out there unsure of return. Doing so simply because they couldn’t imagine doing anything else….other than sharing their creativity with others.

    Eating celery and remembering my dad. I have memories from when I was a kid of a glass full of celery sticks, dad picking out one, dipping it in salt and taking a crunchy bite out if it.

    This came to me this morning as I was reflecting on motivation.

    You don’t stop because you are not the best. You keep going because you are doing what you love.

Older Posts →