Saturday, January 30, 2010

. . . . . . . . Visions of Paradise

I am now finally adjusting to being back in Utah, though it took some time "coming down" off Cloud Nine, having lived there for 25 days while we were in Hawaii. :) The cold air here is much harder on me and the doctor told me on Wednesday that Hawaii would be an ideal place for my recovery, while Utah is probably the hardest place in the continental U.S. to deal with my eye issues. But, alas, I already knew that!

Though I wanted to post all 500+ pictures from our trip, the process is too long here on blogger. So, I've posted a sneak preview here and a ton of pictures on another site, and I hope you'll take a minute to visit the link and check them out. Maybe you can find some peace in them, too. (You don't need to be signed up for Facebook to see the photos.)

Still, I look at the photos and videos from Hawaii and I can't help but feel the warmth. I can feel the sand between my toes and hear the surf as it crashes on the beach. I can see my brothers laying and playing on the beach and realize again how lucky I am to have such amazing "boys" as my brothers. I can hear my mother as she asks my kids what they want for breakfast and see my sister as she lovingly helped my little ones make and frost cookies. I can picture my father walking around the Polynesian Cultural Center, hearing the stories he has to tell and admiring the beauty and peace that is the PCC. I can feel my husband's hand in mine as we walked along the lagoons in Ko'olina and realized just how blessed we are to still be together.

I can feel the hugs of my PCC family as they welcomed me and loved me at each visit. I can visualize the night show "Ha: The Breath of Life" and recall the moments of triumph and tragedy that so mirror real life that I couldn't help but cry. I can see the trees that look like giant pineapples, bordering the campus to BYHU and I remember the view from a top Temple hill, looking out at the ocean. I can hear the squeals of my children as the played Tarzan and swung from the vines on the Banyan trees. I can feel the heat of the pavement beneath my feet as we walked around the Swap Meet and smell the goodness of the malasadas we ate.

I hear the laughter of the guests delighted at the shows they saw at the PCC and I can see Kap, smiling at me while playing the ukelele and showing his beautiful artwork. I can see the poi balls spinning through the air and hear the sticks fall to the floor as laughter spills from the mouths of happy families. I can see the pile of boogie boards and surf boards next to the showers outside Mom and Dad's house and imagine the piles of sand still inside the house in the room where my children brought the beach home with them everyday.

I can feel the love of my family and a kind and caring Heavenly Father who allowed me to heal so much in such a wonderful place. Perhaps I need visions of paradise everyday, to remind me and help me continue to heal. I guess we can all use visions of paradise, be it the mountains, the beach or our own back yard. Where is your paradise? Perhaps you should "visit" it today and envision the peace...


Gayle said...

We just returned from Hawaii and your parents-longtime friends of ours--a week ago, Jodi. I'm with you. It was incredible. So many perspective-changing things from being in Hawaii and from being with your parents. I brought home much more than what was in my luggage.

Gayle said...

...and who could forget Michael's piano playing? I still miss it.

britt said...

beautifully said!!

Anonymous said...

you do write so beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing... i can almost feel, and see it all there!
It was so nice to look into your picture many of the photo's look like they belong in a brochure! Just wonderful shots! You are such a talented lady! And even though you picked ruthlessly on me today...i love you to death!

Jason said...

Great post Jodi. I loved seeing the pictures,especially when everyone was smiling so sincerely. SO great! I wish that you could live their year-round. Why can't you live there every other month or something? That would be great. I'd move back East I think. Not necessarily so sunny, but family is there and it's humid-which helps me from dehydrating so fast. Funny huh. The desert is a killer. Not so much this time of year tho I guess. This time is just depressing. When are you at the hospital next? Let's meet up again. Sorry I missed you last week- wasn't totally with it. Love you Jodi :)

carolyn said...

...I'm with you on Hawaii. Your pictures are beautiful and thanks for sharing...makes me see we need to get out more often to go to the beach to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf? Did I say surf??? I'll gladly surf in a wave pool. Your mom and I had an acai bowl last week...heavenly delicious!!! It was my first taste and LOVED it!! Have a GREAT day!!