Twenty five years ago I left California and settled on Maui. Without describing the financial and personal disasters leading up to this move, I’ll just say I sold everything and packed our belongings into 14 pieces of luggage and took a one way flight to this paradise in the Pacific.
Maui was a truly magical place; spiritual, beautiful, welcoming, and blessed with an amazing climate. The last vestiges of territorial Maui remained when I arrived, but large hotels already occupied much of Lahaina and Wailea. At the same time, mom and pop businesses flourished, local food was the rule, hula shows were frequent, and the roads were ideal for the adventuresome traveler who wasn’t in a great hurry.
The island remains unique and magical in many ways, but big box stores have pushed aside the mom and pop establishments, four lane divided highways cross the island, and houses now grow where pineapple and sugar cane once flourished. It is still one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but for me it has become a place of bittersweet memories. I have bid final farewell to two incredible ladies who shared my life here, victims of incurable cancers. I have found peace and solace here, but I also find myself dreaming a starting again in a place far away.
In the manner of things, I have lost my place of residence to circumstances not of my making. I have lived in the same place since the day after AI first set foot on the island, part of the extended family of my landlords, who now have need of the space I occupy. I believe life has a way of telling you when it is time to make a change. This is one of those times. I have considered moving to a location on the mainland for the last couple years. It turns out I have a job waiting for me to arrive. Message received.
This time I will have a bit more to move, but unlike my last move, my job is waiting for me. I arrived on Maui in less fortunate circumstances. We arrived without a place to live, without a car to drive, without a place to work, without any money, and without any cares. Maui embraced us and life was good. This time I will have a place to live, a place to work, and money in the bank when I arrive in a new place that is opening it’s arms to take me in.
Moving is always a somewhat traumatic experience, but it is also an opportunity for catharsis, self analysis, and closure. It is a time of deciding what you will no longer cling to, what you simply cannot let go, and the adventure of learning a new place, meeting new people, and savoring the memory of people who are no longer among us.
Like the next chapter in a book, the next chapter of my life is being printed upon the page as my footprints find their way through new territory.