I’m batting 500 when it comes to second chances lately. One second chance ended in heartbreak and tears. Another ended in filling my heart with complete joy and elation — the kind of joy you feel when you first learn to ride a bike; the kind of joy you feel when you ride a bike down a fast hill (and don’t crash); the kind of joy you feel when you know you are EXACTLY where you are meant to be.
I met Hawaii three years ago and fell in love with the magic of the islands. It went beyond a spiritual experience — I discovered a part of my soul that really bloomed in the beauty of its nature and the spirit of its people.
I explored the North Shore of Oahu by myself and found myself in Waimea Valley taking a hike to its falls. At the base of the waterfall was a beautiful pool of water — many people were swimming and having the best time. I was by myself … I so wanted to jump into the waters and splash, smile and shout. I just watched the others from the shore. I asked a kind stranger to take my picture then began walking the return route back to my car.
Fortune smiled upon me and I returned to Oahu and its North Shore — this time with friends to share my adventures and my love of this magical island. Together, we explored the Waimea Valley, and it did not disappoint any of us. We ran from flower to flower, smelling the aromas of each bloom. We marveled at the trees and silently shared the wonders of the valley.
With my friends, I returned to the Majestic Waimea Falls. There was no hesitation this time. I may or may not have said, “I’m going in.” I gave Jim my backpack, handed my camera to Wendy and took the plunge that I had waited three years to do.
The cool water greeted me and I was overcome with happiness, joy and gratitude. Wendy captured my HUGE smile and I swam to the falls and just breathed in the wonder and magic. I was so happy to have had this second chance.
My lesson from Hawaii: If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance don’t waste it. Second chances are rare — I’m going to start using my first chance wisely!