Saturday, June 20, 2009

Honu

Some friends and I went to Shark's Cove on Thursday. It was an absolutely beautiful day for snorkeling. The water was perfectly flat, there was no wind, and there were only fleeting moments of cloud cover. This meant for calm seas with clear visibility. That visibility allowed for some amazing sights.


We chose to leave the little cove (pictured above) and venture out, around the rocky coast (imagine us on the other side of tha rocky wall protecting the shore) and over to Three Tables, located west (left in this case) of the cove. Doing so allowed us to not only avoid tourists, but to see a much richer, undisturbed environment.

Feeding on the enormous, craggy rocks were the most beautiful fish! I could just list off their names, but I know that would tell you nothing of what I saw so here are some photos.

butterfly fish

moorish idols

eyestripe surgeonfish

yellow tangs

Those are just a few of the fish I saw. We also saw parrot fish, sergeant fish (which look like little silvery zebras), and humuhumunukunikuapua'a, the Hawaiian state fish (google that, I dare you). There were so many fish of all shapes and sizes! Some were small, like aquarium fish. Others were bigger than regulation size footballs. And those mentioned are just the fish that I knew by name. There were others I'd never even seen before in an array of colors and shapes. The lava tubes, and huge rocky caves make the perfect home for coral and fish that feed on it so there was no shortage of wildlife to be seen.

As we headed towards the shore there was a huge school of whitebar surgeonfish and indo-pacific sergeant fish. Hundreds of them just swimming along maybe two feet below us. Alexis was brave and dove after them, but we were coming up on the rocks rather quickly so I was content to watch from afar. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't because she saw a huge eel as she went down and that TOTALLY would have freaked me out.

The big school of fish wasn't even the best part. As we swam around towards the tables we saw sea turtles (honu in Hawaiian). Alexis has good turtle juju and so we saw two. The first one was ten or fifteen feet below us. She was average in size, maybe a little on the small side and she was gorgeous. As if that wasn't cool enough we soon saw a second one. This one was just a little one, maybe only a foot, for and a half long, but she was much closer to us. She was beautiful to watch. Vibrant green and so graceful, she swam out to sea as though she were flying. The sun shown right down onto the ocean, the rays broken up by the water. This gave everything an ethereal glow. Little bits of life floating in the water would catch the light and sparkle. And there she was, not 10 feet from me looking me right in the eye. It was moving to say the least. I swam with her a little, watched her come to the surface for air and then she dove and it was time to say good bye.



I realize that turtles, especially when snorkeling or diving, are not a rare sight here, but this was a gift of an experience. There weren't people all around trying to get a look, just the five of us swimming along in perfect conditions. There weren't kids splashing or the sounds of cars driving by, only the sound of the water hitting the rocks and gentle kick of our flippers. The seculsion of it all is was made the experience so worthwile. It was like I was looking back in time at an island that hadn't been touched by the abrasive west. It was so humbling. I cannot wait to go again! If any of you ever come visit me, we will definitely be going here.

P.s. None of these photos were taken by me. I do not have an underwater case for my camera. However, my birthday is coming up... That's right. I said it. That's just now badly I want to be able to take photos of my own under water experiences because so far they have been AWESOME! ;0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

All You Need Is Love

Let's compare my life to a puzzle. As I've put it together, I've noticed that some of the pieces are missing. There have been things I've needed to make the picture complete, to make me who I am, that I wasn't inherently gifted with (aspects of family, resources, opportunities). However, I have come to realize that this does not mean I will be left with gaping holes in my puzzle. My loving Father in Heaven has provided me with people to fill in those empty spaces. These angels have provided me with love and support that has changed my life. They are my heroes, my role models, my best friends, my family. They love me when no one else will, and give me all that I could ever ask for. I would be lost without them. I do not say this to be melodramatic, or to complain about the things I do not have. Instead, I say it to remark on all that I have been given. I say this to express an undying gratitude for the gifts these people are. I would be miserable and lost without them to say the least.

I love you and thank each of you for what you have given me!

(in alphabetical order)

The Anderson Family

SeƱor Brandon Cruz

My Greatest Briton

My partner in crime, Camille

Holli Joy and her men (the Genduso Family)

Greta-badeta

The Hampton Family

Mi Familia (the Lees)

The Peterson Family

My baby sister, Susan

Tralicia!! (Tracie & Alicia)

Recent events have caused me to ponder these gifts. There is an endless list of people I wish I could express this too, people who have effected me and don't even know it. I mean, I could go on forever about the amazing people who have been apart of my life. This also means that not being pictured doesn't mean your aren't amazing. In fact, if you're reading this and you aren't pictured, then you probably should be. Regardless, one last time, thank you everyone (those pictured here and those who aren't) for making me who I am and giving me and an awesome ride down the road of life!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Simpler Times (sorry this is not a simpler post...)

When I am left to introspection I am often overwhelmed. A train of thought will quickly carry me into the depths of human reflection and contemplation. Even more powerful are these instances when the moment is quiet and the world around me still. Carrying on for any period of time in this state leaves me feeling like a shaken bottle of champagne, cork ready to erupt.

For me, a thought becomes a reality only when it is acknowledged by someone else. What does it matter what has crossed my mind if I fail to share it in some way (be it in a journal of sorts for latter audiences, or with someone face to face)? Any insight, any wisdom or beauty that I possess in those seconds becomes lost to the ages, which is, if you ask me, a pity, for growth and betterment come in the sharing of such ideas.

I have been thinking a lot lately of how technology interferes with this sort of interaction. We have become enamored with and over stimulated by information and electronic connection. These fleeting amusements keep us from, not only our own quiet moments of deliberation, but from sharing the fruit of that introspection. When we connect to technology we disconnect from one another. Obviously, in such a day and age, we cannot nor should we wholly avoid technology. It can be quite a blessing when taken advantage of in moderation and prudence. Instead, however, especially of late, I have failed to ration out the time I spend "plugged in."

It makes me sad to think of the wonders I fail to discover because I am satisfied with a virtual reality, or the emotion I refuse to share or even experience because of such preoccupations. When I realize the time and energy I have wasted I can't help but wish that I were a part of a simpler time when free moments were spent actively bettering oneself instead of passively floating from one day to the next.

I wish I lived in a time of candle light and propriety, when music, art, and witty banter where the source of entertainment instead of television, movies, and video games. People are quickly forgetting how to interact with one another, forsaking manners and elegance for self indulgence and instant gratification. I really do find it an awful shame.

I sincerely hope that, as time passes on, I can pull myself away from technology and keep it as a blessing to be used in moderation and not a dominating way of life. I am, just as you are, blessed with talents and skills that I should be searching out and improving, relationships that deserve my attention, and good people to whom I may provide my loving service.

There are people that act and people that are acted upon and I choose to become the first. I do not wish to look back on my life and muse upon all of the things I did not do or failed to become because I wasted my time. It is a matchless gift to be given a mind that so freely thinks and reasons. Not only would it be an abomination to let it melt away, but it would be sinful and selfish to not develop it for the good of others.

I hope I can master self control and give myself the meditation the prophets instruct us to provide. If I do, hopefully I will be more skilled in and more apt to sharing the things that cross my mind instead of bottling them up as previously mentioned, for if I do not start releasing them, I think that soon I will explode, and I cannot think of anyone that wants to clean up such a mess.