For the next two nights I sleep well at Rachel’s place, through the many nocturnal visits from the three house cats. One, Mana, is a white rescue with black spots. She darts around the room ferociously while I sleep, as if being tossed by some invisible entity, from the windowsill to the bed to the closet in one a swift motion. I wake up on occasion, to Mana on my legs, comfortably sitting and glaring up at me.
In the morning I am shown around the property, around the gardens I am to help out with. A hundred potted plants make a pathway on the grass to a greenhouse. Rachel introduces me to the diversity: kale, tomato, cucumber, papaya, mango, coconut, avocado, among so many others. Strawberries that grow like weeds under earthed pots in the greenhouse. You are responsible for their health, Rachel tells me. There is another greenhouse filled with Cannabis that Rachel refers to as her babies. Don’t worry about them, she says. I take care of those.
Later in the day I work with Bobby. I help him clear land for a new hale that is going to be built on the property. I notice immediately as we begin to talk that we are very similar in some ways. Bobby moved to Hawaii recently after Rachel and Kelly had given up on their current contractor, and he moved in to assist the project. Rachel refers to him as a wwoofer, which stands for the worldwide organization of organic farming, though Bobbys responsibilities greatly extend past just a work trader on a farm.
Later that day after some time watering, planting and organizing the green house, as well as helping Bobby in the clearing, I climb to the yoga hale and set up my mat. Rachel’s crystals from the yin class before are in a line through the middle of the mat. I close my eyes and breathe, grounding into the new space. Built inland from the ocean, the Aina is in close proximity to the volcano, Mauna Kea. I think about the ocean, the craggly cliffs just off the red road, the black sandy beaches of Kahena and the rough, crashing thunder of unceasing waves. I realize how far away from the sea I feel here. Opening my eyes, the hale is built about two or more three stories up, and I see the tops of trees just beyond it. I begin to cycle through my practice, letting my body tell me where it wants to go.
Bobby and I develop a quick easiness, being together so much and connecting on such a level. Rachel and Kelly are wonderful hosts. Kelly works in Hilo as an engineer and Rachel is in the networking stage of her yoga business, Namastandup, where stand up paddle board and private reiki sessions take lead. I water the plants and even spend a few mornings meditating among the sprouts under the wonky white roof of the greenhouse.
Though things operate beautifully on the Ahaiva Aina, I begin to notice that something doesn’t quite feel right. I miss Pahoa and the ocean, Bob, Alanna and Todd. Like maybe I was pulled away from that situation prematurely. I spend my days present, giving my attention fully to the farm, and then Wednesday rolls around and I ride with Rachel into town. I wasn’t expecting to give into my doubts about the farm but in the quiet space before we head out, I blurt out that perhaps this isn’t what I’m looking for. I admit that I came back to teach and deep down I feel that maybe more potential to fly resides in a town deep in the jungle an hour away from here. Rachel absorbs the information with compassion and an unmeasured sweetness. She believes I should listen to my heart as well. When we ride into Hilo and I attend the yoga class she’s teaching at a gym before she drops me off at the Farmers market, I feel calm and completely clear. But heavily a shadow of the unknown creeps around my edges. Still, I buzz with the thrill of returning to Pahoa.