Magical Thinking

August 21st, 2023

Magical thinking begets magical experiences.

Yesterday I swam Waimea bay. When I got home I realized I was missing one of my black pearl earrings. I didn’t mean to wear my earrings to swim but they are often my go to and I forgot they were on. When I realized I lost the earring I had a pang of regret but then I remembered my incredible swim and how the light created relentless kaleidoscopes of blessings. At one point I swam along side a giant turtle. You can cry while swimming and no one would ever know. I thought back on my full grateful aquatic heart and fully released the pearl back to the sea.

Waimea valley was once the valley where Hawaiian nobility lived. Big waterfalls fall deep in the mountains and slither and bump their way to the ocean over miles. The waterfalls that fall here in this valley are sacred and protected. A botanical garden in its honor allows people to visit and safely swim in one of the falls for a fee to ensure its upkeep. Even though it borders on touristy I love this spot. I can feel it crinkle with the alchemy of the perfect soil, breeze, sun and water. Lagoons have magic. The sea water crashes salty and wild, crushing shells into fine sand. It then flows toward the lagoon, slows down to climb up hill. It then flirts then mates with the calm clear water that falls from the sky in the mountains and rolls over rocks making them smooth. Every winter this entire bay fills with white back wash as its famous 30 ft waves arrive to dazzle thousands of spectators. The biggest recorded wave was over 50 ft. That is a four story building. A 20 ft wave weighs about 410 tons. If just a part of that crashes down on you, it is like driving a motorcycle into a brick wall. Once under you have to relax and hold your breath for at least 30 seconds. They say it is best to let yourself go limp, roll like a shell, cover your head, let yourself be crushed. That is why only the best surf here and why only the best die here.

As we turned out of the parking lot I thanked the Hawaiian gentry for the calm waters. I wondered how best to be grateful and apologetic to these governing spirits. I am not of royal Hawaiian blood. We don’t belong here. I didn’t know at the time that my swim required the toll of a black pearl.

And this is where the magic comes in. This morning when I woke up, right next to my phone on the end table was my black pearl earring. You may say, “oh you just forgot you took it off.” I tell you this- I did not take it off- for if I did the back would be on it. You may say, “well it fell off in your sleep.” To which I would say, “and bounced and landed perfectly still on my end table?” I even asked Scott. “Did you pick up my earring?” He didn’t.

There is a gorgeous Buddha that lays sensual and content along the back wall of our bed. I look at her and feel she has something to do with it. Her smirk let’s me know that magic is amists. I have a lot of evidence so far that she loves delight. I thank her for the gift. I imagine a high council meeting with a sensual bodhisattva and a big Kahuna. They negotiate playfully how they will crash realms and surprise me. He tosses her in the waves, she dives down to grab the pearl. A seal gives her a ride home under the starry sky. She enters through the screen sliders on our balcony and places it quietly next me while I sleep. I see it all. I decide to dust her off in thanks. I make a native flower arrangement of birds of paradise and place it next to her. She gazes lazily out toward the thundering surf and then, I see her wink because that is what magical thinking does and why I have my earring back.

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