Human Science
(New page: In Hawaii, there is one place that has captured the imagination of tourists and lovers alike. It is the mysterious island of Maui. While many come to vacation, snorkel, golf, and wander it...)
 
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And so for me, the Road to Hana had indeed been a profound experience: one not exactly that I never intended. It would turn out to be not only an outer locale, but an inner one as well. Outwardly, I was captured and enthralled by the physical beauty of a once in a lifetime experience. Inwardly, however, I was reminded once again of the vast power we generate when we change our attitude to the positive. The Road to Hana had indeed bared its mysteries; revealing one of life’s great secrets. That when you accept the hand you are given, what the world has put before you, life instantly cooperates with your efforts. It was an extraordinary moment on an unforgettable trip.
 
And so for me, the Road to Hana had indeed been a profound experience: one not exactly that I never intended. It would turn out to be not only an outer locale, but an inner one as well. Outwardly, I was captured and enthralled by the physical beauty of a once in a lifetime experience. Inwardly, however, I was reminded once again of the vast power we generate when we change our attitude to the positive. The Road to Hana had indeed bared its mysteries; revealing one of life’s great secrets. That when you accept the hand you are given, what the world has put before you, life instantly cooperates with your efforts. It was an extraordinary moment on an unforgettable trip.
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[[Category:Case Studies:Life Response]]

Revision as of 18:08, 16 December 2007

In Hawaii, there is one place that has captured the imagination of tourists and lovers alike. It is the mysterious island of Maui. While many come to vacation, snorkel, golf, and wander its endless palm-lined beaches, others come to have an experience in nature that will be moving -- perhaps even enlightening.

But where would one find such a place on this allegedly magical island? Probably not in the big, flashy hotels lining Lahaina; nor the exceedingly wealthy gated communities on the gently sloping hills overlooking the spectacular beaches of Wailea. Rather one tends to look up to the two great volcanoes on the west and east side of the island that soar spectacularly 10,000 feet above the sea -- often covered by a mysterious fog that lures us to the top where the cones and crags puncture a hopelessly blue sky.

In my case, something else that had that effect; or rather seemed to have that effect on others. It is an area on the northeast side of the island, hugging the shoreline, and just below the towering volcano of Haleakala. There resides a spectacular tropical forest of unfathomable beauty that overwhelms. It is not however the type of rainforest one normally associates with the term – i.e. hidden in some deep valley; shrouded in mist, moisture, and mystery. Rather it was located astride the coastline -- on the hillside and mountains overlooking the gorgeous Maui shore. What makes it particularly interesting to the first time visitor is that you traverse this tropical wonder via a one-lane byway known as “The Road to Hana.”

As you drive this extraordinary mountain highway, you pass through 30 miles of what can only be described as the world’s largest and magnificent plant store! An astonishing array of tropical plants, flowers, and trees roll by as you traverse the steep, winding road on the slopes of an impossibly beautiful coastline. As you make your way through the sun-dappled region, navigating the 50+ hairpin turns, on a road that is often a single lane shared with oncoming traffic (!), you feel as if you have arrived at Eden -- to a real, not a mythical paradise on earth.

And yet despite the 1 to 2000 cars that navigate the difficult to navigate road on any given day, you are enthralled by the gorgeous green landscapes, the endless cascading waterfalls -- not to mention a spectacular ½-mile arboretum with plants and flowers so beautiful, strange, and mystical that you want to cry.

The Road to Hana is like a journey through the beauty of life -- a tour de force, magical place dreamed up by some God-like artisan. Moreover, there is an added promise that you will find some sort of fulfillment ahead when you finally make your way to the mysterious town that the road is named after. You imagine a village of artists, poets, and seekers of the New; an ideal world, of happy, contented individuals, expressing themselves through their art, or musing on the nature of existence.

However, when you finally arrive at the town after a grueling two to three hour drive, you look around and notice that there is hardly anything to be found. There are few buildings, a few shops -- even few places to lodge. Sure, there are a number of spectacular homes hidden away in the coastal forests overlooking the sea, but what I found in Hana was somehow disappointing, despite its natural beauty. How odd I thought that at the point of this stupendous journey, so little was to be found.

However, there was no time to dwell on my misgivings since I was eager to continue beyond Hana, and traverse the eastern side of the island, below the great Haleakala volcano. My goal was to work my way all the way around the eastern side of the island to the southern town of Kihei, where I was lodging. Unfortunately, however, after driving 10 miles beyond Hana, a sign appeared indicating that the road up ahead was closed. Undeterred by a marker that I rationalized could be out of date, I continued onward. After all, I was not ready to go back and navigate 50 hairpin turns, impossibly difficult one-way roads, potholes filled with rainwater, and gawking, camera-toting tourists looking for beautiful shots of waterfalls. And so I forged ahead, seeking the next adventure.

Well, after several more miles, I came to yet another sign that indicated the same thing: that the road ahead was closed. Pursing my lips, and letting out a sigh, I now realized that my vision of driving around the deserted part of the island below the Great Volcano for 20 miles on a dirt road crossing virgin, untrammeled, hardly-navigated and inhabited spectacular scenery would have to wait for another day.

And so now I contemplated the journey back to civilization -- even as my body told me I was exhausted, and my frazzled nerves indicated that I was emotionally drained. Then, after grumbling about the situation for a few moments, I gathered myself, took a deep breath, and accepted my fate. I then began to shift my orientation inward, and psychologically prepared myself for another grueling 3-hour drive on the road back from Hana. And so I got back into my car and joined the foray of vehicles that were return to the populated part of the island.

Interestingly, something very unusual happened next. Instead of finding myself caught in a slow procession of vehicles trying to work their way along the very difficult to navigate 1-lane road, I found myself in a small caravan of cars that were moving quite swiftly! “What was this,” I thought, as I sped along at the tail end of a 10-car procession of autos that were moving at perhaps four or five time the speed we came in at. How was this possible?

As I once again traversed the winding road through gorgeous, moist rainforests above spectacular seashore, I noticed several other things. First, there were hardly any cars coming from the opposite direction. Second -- and this was really striking -- was the fact that I did not have to work very hard at driving; that all I had to do was watch the car ahead of me in the caravan, and I would be swept along!

Quickly I realized that I would make my way across the road in less than an hour, instead of the expected 2-3 hours. As I whizzed by familiar landscapes, I was utterly dumbfounded by this change in circumstance!

However, quickly thereafter I understood what this was all about. It was simply life responding to my change in attitude. I.e., the moment I accepted the reality of the situation that I would not be able to drive around the island and had to turn back, life began to cooperate from all quarters. When I shifted my attitude and embraced what life had put before me, everything started going well, as I suddenly found myself in a speedy caravan that whisked me across that landscape in no time at all!

And so for me, the Road to Hana had indeed been a profound experience: one not exactly that I never intended. It would turn out to be not only an outer locale, but an inner one as well. Outwardly, I was captured and enthralled by the physical beauty of a once in a lifetime experience. Inwardly, however, I was reminded once again of the vast power we generate when we change our attitude to the positive. The Road to Hana had indeed bared its mysteries; revealing one of life’s great secrets. That when you accept the hand you are given, what the world has put before you, life instantly cooperates with your efforts. It was an extraordinary moment on an unforgettable trip.