Maui Love

by Stephanie Casher on April 22, 2007

I have just returned from a magical place… A place far removed from the noise and pollution of the city… A place where simplicity is revered, and people live off the land, consuming only what they need. A place where the rain falls from the sky with such abundance that the trees and vegetation grow tall and lush, reaching towards the heavens, a playground for giants. Where pregnant trees bear a multitude of fruit–avocado, papaya, mango, pineapple–just ripe for the picking on the side of the road. Where waterfalls tumble down the sides of mountains at every turn, the rush of water providing instrumental backing for nature’s song. A place where love flows free, filling the heart and nourishing the soul.

KC lives in the very remote and rural town of Kipahulu on the island of Maui. The way of life in Kipahulu is so primitive, at times I felt like I was on an episode of Survivor, lol. Located three hours from the nearest major city (Kahului), you make the trip to “town” once a week to stock up on food, water, ice, and propane. And whatever you purchase in town has to last you the whole week.

We had no electricity or refrigerator (the perishables were kept in a cooler), limited hot water for showering, and our toilet, shower and bath were located OUTDOORS. Super rustic. But it’s interesting to see how much of what we have in “civilization” is truly a luxury. How little we actually need to “survive”. The whole experience of living out in the country is incredibly humbling, and it makes you appreciate the little things (like hot water, lol), reevaluate your relationship to consumption, and minimize waste. I think it’s a journey everyone should take (truly roughing it). We are so spoiled in the city, and we take so much for granted…

The concept of time is also different on the Islands… We get up with the sun and go to sleep with the sun (since we don’t have electricity, there’s not much you can do in the dark, lol). There’s no rushing, there’s no deadlines. Shoot, there’s no stress. Everyone is amazingly chill, just going about their day, taking siestas, and gathering at the fruit stand in the afternoons to kick it and talk story. Good times, good times.

And it’s beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful. Houses and yurts are few and far between, so you really feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by dense foilage. Waterfalls are everywhere, feeding tranquil mountain pools, and the ocean brings wave after wave of crystal blue water against a sandy shore. Paradise.

But by far, the best part of this trip was the time I got to spend with my family. KC and I have been best friends since the 10th grade, and she is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Now she has two children (the youngest is my Godson, Ola), and I love her boys like they are my own. Pono is 4 now, Ola 2, and both boys are walking and talking and just the most awesome kids. Smart, happy, and aware. We had so much fun, and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so much love. Children love without limits–they think everything you do, everything you are, is just amazing. I strive to be someone worthy of their adoration and admiration. Someone they can look up to and learn from. It’s the least I can do — they teach me so much, every day, without even trying…

Check Flickr for the full set of pics from my Island Adventures… Re-entry is always rough, but I plan to make another trip to the Islands before the year is out… Aloha…

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