It started off as any other trail day for us, wake up early, pack up our sacks, eat breakfast, and get on our way. We had just done the Kalepa Ridge Trail for the first time with our friend Scott a few days before. We were excited to check out not only the scenery at the end of the Honopu Trail but the journey to get there.

I was still tired due to not getting much sleep the night before, but was not letting that stop me.  I knew the hike would be worth it.  We met up with Scott and began the trail venture.  Through the trees, up hills, down hills, this hike was indeed advanced as far as difficulty.  Scott and John were a little ahead of me, but I stayed close behind.  Little did I know the magnitude of what was ahead for me personally.  I periodically listened to Scott and John’s conversation as we walked the trail.  After a while into the hike we came to a spot, and decided to rest for a little bit.  As I do for most trails, I stopped occasionally to snap a few photos for the site.  The views along the trail were really something so I made sure to capture as much as possible.

We came to a good “gateway” as Scott refers to them.  Otherwise known as a point where your body tells you “no further”. I remember being exhausted.  So I picked a spot, laid my pack down, and plopped on the ground.  After a few moments passed John and Scott decided they wanted to go a little further.  I on the other hand was good to stay put and keep resting.  I watched them slowly drift into the trees down the ridge, and then eventually I closed my eyes.  

What felt like 10 minutes later, which was really about 1.5 hours, I opened my eyes.  I looked around; fog like clouds swept right through me, and a sense of complete joy and exhilaration completely filled my entire body.  At the time I felt like I was just floating. I couldn’t stop smiling, and didn’t want to stop.  John and Scott emerged from down the trail shortly following.  They rested, and I decided to grab my camera and take a few shots of the view from my spot and the spot itself.  We headed back towards the trail head.  The journey back was for lack of a better word, euphoric, I had a perm a – grin on my face the entire time.  I couldn’t explain what had just happened, I attempted to Scott and John but I just wanted to reach within and show it to them.  They both smiled and we kept on walking.  Pele, or the land itself had showed the warmest aloha to me that day.  I had experienced a mana so deeply connected to myself and my surroundings.

The rest of that afternoon and the remaining time of our trip, nothing could bring me down.  We now refer to that moment on the Honopu Ridge Trail as the moment of clarity and peace.  The moment  I understood the deep connection the Hawaiian people share with the land. It’s a feeling that lives in me, even from the east coast of the country.

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