On Wednesday, I continued my visit to Maui by traveling the amazing Road to Hana. If you’re not familiar with it, the Hana Highway, as it is officially known, is a 68-mile stretch which connects Kahului with the town of Hana in east Maui. Although Hana is only about 52 miles away, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive each way with no stops because the highway is very winding and narrow and it passes over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide. There are approximately 620 curves, virtually all of it through lush, tropical rainforest. It’s easily understood why it’s so popular with tourists because it is arguably one of the most beautiful sites Mother Nature offers!
As I made this trek (it took me about 7 hours with obligatory stops for banana bread, fresh coconut and star fruits!), I spent some time reflecting on how this adventure is a wonderful analogy to Life. It’s been said that the Road to Hana should never be rushed, it’s not about the destination but about the journey!
And that is so true about life in general, isn’t it? Life isn’t about rushing to a destination, about trying to get somewhere or achieve some major feat. It’s about savoring the moment, every day! As I was driving and saw all the memorials along the path, I was also reminded of a quote from Tony Gaskins that I had tweeted earlier this week: “Wake up MOTIVATED! Not everybody made it, so don’t take it for granted!”
Hana parallels life in many other ways too. 620 curves, so many of them almost complete switchbacks! When we get too comfortable in life and we think we know just where we’re going and how everything’s going to be, life throws us a curve, sometimes a very big one and sends us in a completely different direction!
Just as with Hana where you go around one of those curves and find yourself then staring at a waterfall that plummets hundreds of feet and the sheer beauty of it takes your breath away, so life sometimes will close one door but open a better one!
The 59 bridges to Hana, 46 only wide enough for one car to squeeze through, where you often have to yield to the oncoming traffic to clear before you can proceed, reminded me that life sometimes makes us wait and gives us timing we don’t always like or expect. It means waiting for someone else to do their part or to have their way or waiting for something else to happen first before our goals or expectations can proceed. From those experiences, we learn patience and humility.
The Road to Hana is literally abundant with so many amazing sites to see around every turn! Inspiring views of the surf crashing hundreds of feet below the narrow path you travel, lush rainforest so green and thick and vibrant, the faces of hardworking people working their lands. I thought how life gives us those opportunities everyday too, showing us so many sites to behold and people with whom we interact and the differences we make in each other’s lives. Sometimes it’s mentoring someone, sometimes it’s giving food to eat or a place to sleep, sometimes it’s as simple as giving a smile to someone who doesn’t expect it.
My challenge to you today is to take the time to greet someone you might normally walk past and have a genuine conversation with them! Really focus on learning things about them and what makes them uniquely interesting!
While you’re at it, break from your regular routine and do something special that causes you to appreciate something beautiful around you. Take the time to walk on the beach or through the woods. Go for a drive. Take in a play or a concert. Give back to a worthwhile cause!
Trust me, you’ll find it addictive!