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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Embraced...


The other night I came home as usual. Exhausted. Thinking about whether I should try to start my exercise regime or put it off yet another night. I went to the mailroom to check my mail and noticed a solitary magazine on the communal table. I walked over. It was the August 2008 edition of Runner's World. In ten years of visiting the mailroom. I have never seen a sport's magazine of any kind. I chuckled as I picked it up. My kupuna can be very subtle at times. And sometimes very blunt. I acknowledged the encouragement. So as tired as I was. I put on my running shoes, shorts, tank-top and Ipod. I tucked my house key and access card into my velcro reflective wrist wrap. And headed out into the night.


I walked until I warmed up. Then ran up the hill into Manoa Valley until my lungs were bursting and heart pounding. Then walked until I caught my breath. Then ran. Then walked. Then ran. I made it to the back of Manoa Valley which was a little over three miles. The wind was cool. The sky magnificent. The clouds and crescent moon dazzled me with an endless heavenly skyscape of incredible beauty.

As each song played in my Ipod. Rock. Hawaiian. Classical. Pop. Love Ballads. Latin. Dance. Metal. Alternative. Soundtracks. Each song transported me back to a period in my life allowing me to reflect upon so much as the cadence of my footsteps pounded the intermittent asphalt, concrete, and grass. My labored breathing pumped along rhythmically sending me into a deep reflective trance. So many emotions flooded through. It cleared my head. And my soul.

As I hit Paradise Park. I turned and started back. Feeling overwhelmed by work and exhausted, I knew I had another three miles to get back home. As I walked, a very strong gust of wind blew suddenly pushing me forward. Then the wind swirled and enveloped me. Just then, the song which started playing in my Ipod was U2 "Like a Song." I was immediately transported back to my first year in college. Sitting on the wall at Tantalus lookout. Listening to this song. With my best friend from high school. We used to look down into Manoa and out to Waikiki. And talk about our dreams. And about finding the girl in those dreams.

As I looked up above me. I was beneath 'Ualaka'a Park. The backdrop of the heavens spread out as far as the eye could see. My best friend ended up shooting himself in the head at 'Ualaka'a Park with his grandfather's rifle. As I looked up in the darkness. I immediately felt his presence surround me in the wind and embrace me for a ephemeral moment. I burst out into tears and sobbed in his presence. And in a moment. He was gone. There was so much I had wanted to say. But I was speechless as tears cascaded down my face. And as painful as it was. I am so grateful that he would show his love and encouragement to me. Twenty years later. On a beautiful dark lonely night. In a warm enveloping gust of wind. Embracing my worn out heart. When I needed it most...

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