Visiting Earth and beyond - in Maui

 "We are all just visitors to Earth."  - this quote, words spoken by a park ranger at Haleakala National Park in response to our reply that my friends and I were visiting this lovely island from New Orleans, perfectly summed up my ethereal birthday jaunt around the island of Maui last month.

I got an idea of what I was in for when my first glimpse of the island was this incredible moonset over West Maui Mountain. 

When I wasn't watching whales,

or meandering around Mars (a.k.a. the summit of Haleakala),

or photographing the dawn of my 45th trip around the sun,

 I was contemplating humankind's place in this vast world. 

 It was easy to do in a world so large yet at the same time so small.

Tiny planes were dwarfed by towering mountains, 

Tiny boats surrounded by Pacific waters, 

tiny pedestrians sharing the road through the vast countryside,

and tiny cyclist navigating mountainous curves.

Reverence is ubiquitous here and it is understood that rather than a choice, its a way of life. 

It has to be, otherwise drivers are faced with two way traffic on one way roads  

with...

(haha)

The land itself exudes that appreciation 

and it permeates throughout the culture.

Lucky for me that reverent vibe followed me home to New Orleans just in time to see our country go bonkers.  With all the divisiveness going on, it was refreshing to be in place that understands that regardless of who we are, where we live or what we believe,  at the end of the day we are all simply visitors to this earth.  And respect for ourselves, each other and our land is an essential part of living.

Nice way to spend a birthday.

~~~***~~Aloha~~***~~~

Shout out to Michael, Monica and Alex ... it was a birthday adventure to remember...Mahalo!

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez