When the dust settled on our decision to move our family from Maui to California I a cocktail of emotions more layered than a Merriman’s mai tai. Excitement, anticipation and my old friend wanderlust piled right up on top of nostalgia, sadness and the fear of regret. Logic was on the side of moving, calculating that the time had come to get our kids closer to family, and in our hearts we knew that we were ready for our next adventure. But logic didn’t stop my mind from wandering back to the perfect spring day in 2007 when I washed up on the shores of Maui, a soul searching 23 year old with a backpack and a determination to escape the Seattle cold. What I found was an endless summer, and after ten years I have an island shaped imprint on my soul that I know will never fade away.
How can I possibly say goodbye to the island that made so many of my dreams come true? How do I leave behind the emerald mountains and sapphire waters I have been nestled between all this time, or the friendships that have bloomed all around me? How can I say farewell to all the special places I fell in love with, and to the special places where I fell in love with my best friend? How can I say goodbye to the tribe of women who have helped me find my feet in motherhood, who’ve known my babies since I brought them home all swaddled up from the hospital?
When I look back I see every moment in a golden hue; the lazy days spent riding bikes around Front Street, the midday heat of Kaanapali beach and the views of Lanai and Black Rock that I spent countless hours gazing at from my perch at work, the prismatic and ever changing sky at sunset in the days after a big rain storm.
The truth is, I could never really say goodbye to this island. As those who have left before me will attest, the shape of Maui will stay imprinted on my heart forever. The only thing that I can say, as we leave this paradise and go in search of our next one, is Aloha, A Hui Hou. Until we meet again.