The indifferent, howling storm tossed us through the night. The Hawaiian Islands are 2,000 miles from the nearest land. The waves come in from the open ocean and there is nothing to slow their momentum. We pitched twenty feet up, then plunged down, slamming on the water with a heavy thud. After several hours of this rude pounding, I gave up to the fatalistic notion that this was the way I was meant to go. Since I planned to have my ashes scattered at sea, I felt this was just a short cut to what I already had in mind for myself.  “Be careful what you ask for.” kept going through my mind, over and over again, like a chinchilla on a wheel.

Somehow, we slept.  In the morning we woke to calm seas. I unfurled myself and went onto the deck. The ultramarine water shimmering in the morning sun gave no hint of the terror it had held in the night before. All was calm and steady to the horizon. The velvet green island of Kauai about a half-mile away floated gracefully beneath a rainbow arc as though nothing had happened.  In island time, nothing had happened, but for me the world had changed. It was enlivened, washed clean, with a new beginning, and I was still there to see it.


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