I’ve had fun with this little mini-series over the past week, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. There were a few different candidates for this final spot in the series, but after thinking long and hard on choosing one last topic, Haleakala rose above the rest.
A Haleakala Sunrise
We’ve been talking about going up to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise for years now. Some of the factors that have kept us shy about making the trek include the early morning hours, the drive, the dark, the cold, you get the idea. But despite all that, we’re bitting the bullet this trip and making it one of the very first things we do this year.
I’m well aware of the role that weather plays in seeing a decent sunrise as opposed to a spectacular one, so I have been preparing myself for somewhat of a disappointment. Yet, even if we don’t get the postcard shot that forever captures the beauty of the moment, just making the effort and sharing that experience of being at such a special place and the rise of a new day with the woman I love at my side is what truly matters.
A New Purpose
Even though we’ve enjoyed so many marvelous sunsets on Maui, seeing this sunrise for the first time feels like it’s going to have so much more of a special meaning. Each of our trips have had their own subtle theme. For our first trip, it was falling in love with Maui, being completely swept off our feet with all the magic that the Valley Isle has to offer, being hooked for life and dreaming of living there someday.
The following year, our trip was about celebrating our wedding anniversary, and returning to what had all become familar from our first trip. Last year, it was a time for celebration. We brought my mom with us, as a gift to her for her 50th birthday. We also celebrated my birthday while we were on Maui, something we look to do again in the future.
This year? It’s about a new beginning, a new day. It was so hard to leave the island last year. It’s going to be even harder to leave this time. But after this trip, we start getting serious. We start working harder towards our goal of relocating to Maui. No more will we be saving and sacrificing for a two week vacation, but looking at higher rewards, a bigger picture. Making Maui our home.
A New Day
I can’t think of a better way to symbolize this new part of our lives than with the start of a new day from atop the summit at Haleakala. Being high above the clouds, far away from the rest of the world, all of our cares and worries. Not only is it the perfect start for our vacation, but for the next phase in our lives.
Aside from the obvious comparisons, there are lesser hints of symbolism as well. Waking up much earlier than normal, as I’ve been doing here at home as I plan for finding a second job when we get back. The uphill road that awaits on the side of the extinct volcano, matching one of the toughest climbs we’re going to be facing this year in working towards our future goals. And ultimately the reward, the moment we make it to the top, and look down and behind us at everything it took to get there, and seeing how it will all be worth it in the end.
So you see, for me it’s more than just a sunrise, or the start of a new day. Everyone has different reasons for what they do in life, and they find meaning in many different things. We’re not religious, but there is an indescribable spiritual feeling that comes over me when we visit Maui. Something that I haven’t been able to put into words yet, but have loosely dubbed the Maui Effect. It seems to be everywhere and in everything we do when we visit our favorite piece of paradise, and I can be certain that we’ll find it on the top of tallest part of the island as well.
Only time will tell whether we get that perfect stretch of weather on that early Monday morning. I think regardless of what we get to see when we’re up there, the outcome will be the same. That sunrise will mark the start of many things. The beginning of our trip. The start of the day. The start of the next part of our lives together. Something for which I feel truly fortunate for, and somthing really looking forward to.