Being far from home in an entirely different setting surrounded by those you love is causing me to reflect on the course of life, ponder the direction of things, and dwell on what really matters. Its as if our daily work-a-day life is performed in some sort of repetitive fog, and being away from that pattern can help the fog lift.
We experienced this just this past Sunday as we visited the famous Kalalau Valley, at the top of Waimea Canyon, on the west end of Kauai. The drive from the coast into the canyon is about 23 miles, but takes about 45 minutes to complete, as the road is very windy along the western edge of beautiful Waimea Canyon, dubbed by Mark Twain as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". We arrived at the end of the road, in the remote northwestern part of the island. In the past crews have tried to construct further roads here, only to literally abandon their equipment on hillsides and swamps, overwhelmed by the forces of nature. Soon, our family almost felt overwhelmed by nature as well.
As we arrived at the end of the road after the lengthy drive, we found ourselves in fog bank, with whisps of clouds floating over the parking lot. Now imagine this scene for a minute, my wife and I with two girls of 11 and 14 years in the car. Can you not just imagine their wonderfully cooperative and happy spirits after 45 minutes in the back seat of a Mustang Convertible? Might I just trust you to understand that their collective mood was somewhat less than optimal? Very well then.
As we approached the railing the view was stunning. Of clouds and more clouds, that is. Clouds in front of us, clouds behind us, over us, and around us. Normally in situations such as this, I am inclined to sigh deeply, or perhaps even emit a "harrumph!", and venture back to the car to head home. But for some reason, there was something calming about being there in the clouds. I didn't feel a need to leave immediately, nor did my wife. I thought outloud, perhaps if we just wait, the weather might change. And so, we waited. Five minutes turned to ten, and ten to almost twenty.
And then, within seconds, the clouds vaporized, and there before us was a glimpse of heaven, the striking Kalalua Valley, awash in late afternoon sun, all the way to the Na Pali coast. I snapped the photo above right at the moment the fog cleared.
Perhaps if we let Him, God might clear the fog in all of our lives. If we let Him. I wonder.
Charles Warren Stoddard has gone to the Sandwich Islands permanently. Lucky devil. It is the only supremely delightful place on earth. It does seem that the more advantages a body doesn't earn here, the more of them God throws at his head. This fellow's postal card has set the vision of those gracious islands before my mind again, with not a leaf withered, nor a rainbow vanished, nor a sun-flash missing from the waves, & now it will be months, I reckon, before I can drive it away again. It is beautiful company, but it makes one restless & dissatisfied.- Mark Twain's letter to W. D. Howells, 10/26/1881