A much belated aloha from the sunny shores of Oahu. My month long stay in Hawaii in the beginning of the year was an exciting getaway for me; it was a great way to hit refresh as we ring in 2016, and a relaxing escape at its core.
I embarked on my island-bound flight with grandeur goals of (finally) learning how to surf and scuba dive. What I got out of the trip was much more - as I pack up my things for home, I am leaving the islands with the aloha spirit.
Many people know “aloha” as the common greeting in Hawaii. But for the true definition of the word, look no further than Hawaii State Law. While there are no penalties for this provision of the state law per se, the aloha spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.
"Akahai," means kindness, to be expressed with tenderness
"Lokahi," means unity, to be expressed with harmony
"Oluolu," means agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness
"Haahaa," means humility, to be expressed with modesty
"Ahonui," means patience, to be expressed with perseverance
As the state code would tell us, these are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. Although the state code is originally directed at government officials as a reminder to treat the people they serve with respect, I think we could all use a little bit of aloha spirit in our lives.
My favorite section of the code says: “Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. "Aloha" means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
Our time in Hawaii gave me a lot of time to reflect: about the past and the path that lays ahead. I thought a lot about Just-in-Time and the future of the site. I reflected on photography and my creative journey. I thought about my insatiable thirst to see the world yet my abundance of love for New York City.
Take any trip of this length and it’s inevitable that something will go wrong. But for each instance of misstep, I was met with some aloha spirit that helped smooth the journey. And the more aloha spirit I put out there to the world, the more it seemed to return to me.
So I’m writing this post to extend this spirit of love and kindness to you, dear readers. Thank you for following my creative journey. And aloha.
// All images: iPhone 6. For daily snaps, follow me on Instagram //