Sometimes, all it takes is time. In this case it was a holiday on Maui. Don’t get me wrong, we were in love before the holiday but you know how it is — long work hours, responsibilities, and trying to keep it all together left us frayed and in desperate need of some R & R.
I was not thinking of the need to reconnect with my wife — I just wanted to stop! She, on the other hand, had other ideas.
This showed up immediately upon arriving. While we are at the car rental desk, she asked to upgrade to a convertible. Okay. But when the desk person said it was going to cost an extra thousand dollars I blanched, turned to my wife, and said, “Not a chance”. We were just about to start having a heated argument when the counterperson interjected with a “I’ll give it to you for half off, you’re getting the employee price.” Hmmm, I may have to use this tactic in future negotiations.
Well, it’s was still more than I wanted to pay, but it’s near midnight, we’re tired, and then my wife said she will pay. Such a deal. And a convertible in Hawaii, it’s got to be worth something. We got it.
The decision pays off immediately. First, my wife is happy, second, we are now cruising down the highway, top-down, warm air swirling around us and a full moon above. Are we talking romantic or what? Even I am feeling the love and I am not a particularly romantic person. This is a great way to start the holiday.
And it just keeps getting better. Each morning we play tennis then swim in the ocean. A warm ocean. My god what a blessing. We would just float on our backs letting the ebb and flow of the waves massage our bodies and drain away all worries.
Then there is the food. We’re eating tons of fresh fruit and local fish. I admit, we’re not purifying our bodies completely as the exotic drinks are too tasty to ignore. Oh, and the fruit smoothies, I think I had one everyday.
We are finally starting to relax. The humid air, the warm ocean, the light and tasty food, are all having the desired effect. Not only are we relaxing, we are being playful.
We play in the surf, hold hands while snorkeling, laugh while boogie boarding, and encourage one another learning to surf and loving it. We are physically connecting throughout the day and taking intimate time. We talk, make meals, eat out, and just relax.
Then there is the land itself. Like the ocean it has a profound effect on us. Maui is a land of contrasts. From beaches to a dormant volcano at over 10,000 feet, and dried out red-brown hillsides to lush green forests filled with waterfalls. From almost continuous sunshine in some parts to daily rain in others. It is a visual feast and flowers are everywhere adding to the idyllic quality.
It wasn’t just the surfing that brought us together. It was having the time and opportunity to go to bed together at night and getting out of bed together in the morning. Typically, our schedules do not allow for this. In the morning we took the time to hug, just because. Because it felt good, refreshing, and fun. We ate breakfast together. Indeed, we did everything together throughout the day.
Was it sweet love and kisses all the time? No, but we realized that any friction was due to fatigue, heat, or hunger. These were easy enough problems to remedy so we were able to breathe easy knowing that the solution was close at hand. After a nap or a meal or a swim to cool down, we were back on track enjoying one another and life.
The essential element in this holiday was FUN. This is not how we usually do holidays. In the past, vacation time was full of sightseeing and travelling from one place to another on a hectic schedule on unknown highways. This time we did everything at a leisurely pace. Even took naps if we felt like it.
It seems like it has been ages since we had so much time together without outside distractions. I got to see and experience my wife in novel situations as well. In this way I was learning new aspects of her personality (not bad after 18 years together). I saw her fear as she got tossed about in the waves while body surfing and then her determination and courage as she immediately went back out to grab the next wave.
I saw her athletic ability as she conquered the surf board and had rides even longer than the instructor’s. I saw her absolute love of the ocean. She could stay in it for hours while snorkeling, never tiring. The water gave her energy.
Hawaii is a sensual place. I suppose this is true of tropical climates. The heat and humidity force the body to slow down. The water rejuvenates and offers exercise and wonder when swimming with turtles and tropical fish.
I fell in love with surfing, but even more, I fell in love with whole new aspects of my wife. She too fell in love with surfing. How great is that? We get to pursue a new sport together, one that enlivens the both of us. I’m a lucky guy.
Photo: Supplied by author.