We wake up to an orange and pink sky and drift towards the kitchen to boil water for tea. Alanna wanders down the driveway halfway through breakfast. Alanna is the only girl on the property, the person responsible for its up keep and overall appearance. The only other person I have yet to meet is the property’s owner, Roberts Lilly, who works on mainland and visits for a week here and there to check up on progress. When Alanna walks in she is swaddling a sleeping creature and excitedly remarks, I got a puppy. I named him Desmond, or Dezzy for short, she says. The sleepy creature stirs awake and looks up at us gathered around with a calm and curious look.
I ease into life on the farm with little difficulty. One of the greatest challenges is the compost toilet or lua, in Hawaiian. The bamboo structure is off to the side of the property and even though it looks out to the distant coconut trees, it’s lack of door takes some getting used to. The shower is open as well, and also made of bamboo. I am mindful in my shower timing, making sure no one is completing daily tasks around the area and that the showers are spaces apart. Because all water is cultivated by rain catchment and solar heated, it ceases to lend hot water for long. Apart from the difficulties of living off grid, my week on the farm is met with many miracles.
We often engage with Bob about philosophical matters. He tells us our thoughts have power and teaches a mediation where we imagine our thoughts as if headlines in the newspaper. This is because the beliefs we have for ourselves help in moulding our identity therefore by giving them weight we are fully exhibiting the power to shape our own reality. Todd and I go to the Wednesday night market, and upon reconnecting with those I met months ago, I feel more grounded. I knew you’d come back, some say to me. Welcome home, says others. We dance at the ecstatic dance on Thursday night, deep in the jungle, and I get swept into a comfortably groove dancing again with Todd.
I quickly become Aunt to Dezzy the puppy, and am rewarded on occasion with spontaneous naps and cuddles. I grow very fond of Alanna, noticing that she comfortably molds into a big sister role. Looking out for her own but also fiercely independent. She often hangs around a group in town we refer to as the Pirates. A beautiful group of souls, they travel melodious like a hippie band wagon, spinning fire staffs and poi, playing guitar gently through the night. Her main confidante is a pirate named Scruffy, who has a puppy with eyes as blue as the ocean who he’s named Squish. I begin to see a strength that rests deeply within Alanna and am reminded of a quote by Rumi: wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. She has a vulnerable side, too, one which I identify as a sort of hopeless romantic spirit. We talk about love when Todd isn’t around. About lost love, true love, and all else in between.