I am still amazed at how he moves. It's so natural for him but when I watch him, or am near him, his energy, I just feel him. His absolute beauty. It's something I could never quite get, how he didn't see himself quite as I saw him. Granted, growing up I wasn't brave enough to fully make myself known on this, but now as a woman so in love with life, and myself, I couldn't help but tell him. It shocks me how often I see him and his beauty stops me where I am at and I lose my breath for just a moment. It's the absence of air for that moment and then the rush of it coming back that leaves me a little light headed. I also know, too, that when he moves I feel it and know it. This is why I knew where we were going was important. He hadn't told me anything about this place, just as he hadn't with any of the other places he had taken me on the island. I had to know for myself without the tainting of any words or thoughts from him. I followed.
I was still a little weepy but on a high from our previous stop. (A story I will have to share at a different time.) We walked quickly back over the bridge we had just driven over and I followed him onto a path. The path led us along and through a forest of trees and a stream. That's when I felt and heard them...it...all. He turned and looked back at me with eyebrows raised. I clutched my hand to my chest, feeling for my heart and my breath. I had never breathed so completely and so fully since I had arrived in Hawaii, but at this place the breath was so much it was almost too much for me to take in. It was as if I was experiencing the fullest breath I'd ever taken and yet at the same time all the air in my lungs being fully taken out.
And now, voices. Two or three voices speaking but representing a collective. They spoke a language I'd never heard but I understood. And with their voices was an even stronger lead voice. Not a male, not a female. It was both, but it was definitely the strongest, fullest, and clearest voice. I listened, or rather felt or just a knowing, them asking me who I was, why I'd come, and who he was. And I answered. Not with my mouth but with me. My energy. It wasn't something I'd done in a long time, at least not in this way, but it was so natural to me. So easy.
I told them that asked that my name was Michele Lauren and that I had come because I needed to. And as for he, well, I told them his name and that he was my soulmate. The voices, and everything in that moment, were silent. I remember stopping and wondering if I should go any further. Then all at once, an embrace. I felt so loved, so welcomed. And voices came to me so fast. "Welcome!" "Love!" "Peace!" "Come!" "Come!" "Come!" So, I did come.
I followed him over and through the stream, scrambling over rocks. I was so busy with feeling and hearing the voices that I didn't notice what was ahead of me until I heard the lead voice tell me to, "Look up." When I looked up it was the most breathtaking sight, probably of my whole life, at least to date, but if it was THE most breathtaking sight, I would die a happy woman.
The voices, all of them, were silent. Replacing their voices was the rush of a powerful waterfall. The water fell into a beautiful pool. Little waves went out throughout the pool and the mist from the waterfall hit me with such force that it was like an aroma. The beach leading into the pool was made up of rocks surrounding it. I stumbled on a few as I began to cry. I was breathing such deep, full, clear breaths. The energy was pulsing and embracing me. And even though it took me over it was not suffocating. It was love and it was alive.
At that moment I had to turn away and grab at my chest because it was so powerful I thought I might float away right into the heart of it. He had been ahead of me and was facing the waterfall, back to me. I turned myself to find him and align myself with him in this place and in this moment. Watching the mist hit him and play in his hair and surround his skin. The colors of that moment, of both dark and deep and rich, playing in that evening light around him and with him was simply beautiful. It was the last absolute moment, while we were at this place, that I looked fully upon him. After that it was me catching glances but me relying on his presence to know where he was in relation to me. At that moment, he turned around and said, "She's showing off for you." At first, I thought this was disrespectful of something so great, but as I looked again I realized he spoke the truth. She, Mama Energy of the 'Aina, the energy of the land and the people-past, present, and future- and of God, was making sure I remembered her. That I would remember her in all her splendor and glory. In showing me her true beauty she told me, "You will come." So clear, so true.
That's when I knew in my heart I would come back to her, and live with her. She was inviting me to come. Up until that point, I knew that I had needed to come, wanted to come, but hadn't felt the invitation fully extended. I had seen her beauty everywhere during my trip, and had felt her loving embrace but not the formal invitation. And here it was being given to me with such complete love. A motherly love. My salty tears were just a continuous flow. I felt so safe, so loved, so welcomed.
He turned to me and with a wave of his hand, "You need to take it all off. All of it." I knew it even before he spoke it. So, I did. I took off everything. I stripped to my complete naked beauty, soul, too, as well as my tears. On that rocky beach I left my clothes, my past life, my past hurts, my past fears, my past..I left it. I was naked and new. Then I turned and walked across the rocks and pebbles and into the pool. In doing this I knew I would never be the same.
I entered the pool slowly, at first, but once I was in I realized how much I needed this, and how long I had waited for this, and I was almost frantic in my urgency. I went in just deep enough so I could put my head under the water. It was cool and refreshing but the hum I felt in the water was an energy that pulsed through my entire being. It was a current flowing in and out. At that moment, I knew I must dunk myself nine times. So, I did. Each time my head went under, I felt something going out, and with each breath at the surface, I felt something coming in. I felt. That's really the easiest way to describe it. I felt it all. I received it and I gave it. All of it. It was flowing. It was timeless. I felt so connected and enough and whole. Whole. Something I don't think I had felt since I was a very young girl, but even then not this full and not this complete.
It was a baptism. A cleansing of myself. I was giving myself permission to live. To live fully and not alone. I was to draw on the energy of those before me, those with me, and those after me. I no longer felt alone. I never really had been. I had simply not used my own abilities to tap into the energy I needed that was within me and surrounding me.
After my last dunk I heard the words, "It's done." So, I began to climb out of the pool and put my clothes back on. As I put my clothes on I heard Mama Energy of the 'Aina speak to me again. The energy was still in love but very strong. She wanted to be clear with me. Crystal clear. "You have to go back. You cannot stay here right now. This will be very hard. Harder than you've ever known. Trust your heart. It is you, and it is never wrong. Trust YOU. You have to go back for now, but it won't be long. Don't waste time and hurry back. We are waiting." Of course tears were flowing. I just stood there meditating on what she had just said, putting every word into my heart. I was so happy to hear her words and yet they pierced right through me. I knew I was to live there and have a life but not now. Happy and devastating all at the same time.
I hadn't a clue how to make my feet move from this beautiful place, especially after those words. I didn't want to go. So, the Mama Energy of the 'Aina nudged me with a firm but loving, "Go." I looked to him and told him, "We need to go." And without question he turned and nearly ran to go. After a few feet he turned round and asked, "Is she mad?" It made me laugh through my tears and I assured him she was not, which helped bring the pace back to normal speed. It made me happy though that this strong, beautiful man had trusted me enough to go without question. It spoke volumes to me on how he valued me as a woman, as a friend, a human.
We continued back the way we had come and then I heard the water of the stream. I heard singing. It was extremely faint but it was singing. It was a familiar song and it took me but a moment to recognize it. Then it hit me, just as it had the day before when we were surfing and snorkeling...my dream. This time there was no fear. I realized it had already come true.
At the Falls I had taken it all off, just as my spirit animal in my dream, the giraffe, had done for me. It had taken my skin off in order for me to live. I had to strip to the heart of me and let that be enough and build from there. With my baptism, that was all now true.
As we walked through and along the stream, the end of my dream was revealed. I was stripped to my naked layer and I had been laid by a stream, or small river, darkish in color, just as the stream was looking in the light of dusk. And in my dream a child sang and jumped from rainbow rock to rainbow rock telling me, "Mommy, you'll be o.k. Just sing with me." My husband in my dream had repeatedly asked me how this all could have happened to me when I was supposed to have been home. But the waking reality was, yeah, I shouldn't have been there, but I was. My heart told me I needed to buy a ticket and come. And I did. And here I was healed...full...enough
The singing sounded so much like the song the child had been singing in my dream, but it was being sung by the voices I had heard earlier when I had arrived. It all just came to me and wrapped around every fiber of me. I could no longer stop the dam of tears and energy that had been closed up in me for so long. It was freedom for me, and I let it go. Weeping is the only way to describe this type of crying. Absolute weeping from the depths of my soul. When it became so deep and so strong I just fell into a tree. I couldn't walk any further. I just hung onto that tree and wept, all while I felt total love surround me.
He had been ahead of me and had seen me stop, but I just couldn't tell him all of what was happening yet. I didn't need to. He had felt something too. I don't know if Mama Energy of the 'Aina spoke words to him, or simply embraced him, but he knew to let me do what I was doing. It wasn't until I had weeped what I could weep that I realized he had gone back to the car and grabbed his sweatshirt for me. He had draped it over me. I even remember at one point in my Hoover Dam busted flow of tears his hand on my back, but as I came around from my watery state I realized he was just patiently waiting for me to finish enough to leave. No rush. Just as he had done on our Commando Hike. When I slowed, or needed help, he waited. Never belittling me. I trusted him and he trusted me. He allowed me to be in my own way.
We walked back to the car and climbed in. We both took swigs of alcohol. I couldn't stop the tears from falling out. No longer weeping, just curing salt water tears. And we just drove. Allowing what needed to be at that moment, to be. No words, just energy. Just feeling. It was enough.