WORDS AND IMAGE: KIMORA BROCK
While I was in Hawai'i I had a life or death experience.
After a nice and extremely strenuous hike up the Koko Crater, my friend, my sister and I decided to go to a local swim spot to cool off. My friend took us to this really beautiful rock that gradually blended into the ocean. I went to the edge and dipped my toes in. The rock was high enough that the cool water just covered my ankles--the perfect remedy for my aching feet. I felt so connected simply enjoying the view and soaking my feet in the water that I closed my eyes and listened to the waves. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a wave that was a little larger than the rest. I didn't think much of it, figuring maybe it would crash against the rock at about my knees.
Before I knew it, the water was coming up to my shoulders. I tried to move further back onto the rock, but it was mossy and super slippery from the sudden crest of the wave. Unable to find a grip, I was pulled by the wave deep into the vastness of the ocean. I could hear the water crashing all around me, and I panicked that I was going to run out of breath and drown. I was so far beneath the surface that it took me a worryingly long while to get to air. When I finally emerged and immediately began to try and swim back to the rock, the current was so strong that I realized I was not going anywhere.
My friend yelled out, "You're going to be okay!! Just relax." Did he not just see me get swept into the ocean? I looked at my sister, standing there in shock, and found myself reflecting on my neighbor's first-grade pool party. After my baby sister's floaties had gotten away from her, I went swimming across the pool to get them. But she decided to jump on my back and swim with me, so my dad ended up having to jump into the pool with all of his clothes on. I almost drowned. I thought about my family and how sad my mom would be if I was gone, and how hard she worked to afford my college education. I thought about how much left I had to do, how my story was just getting started.
I began to swim with all of my might back to the rock when a second wave crashed down suddenly. It was then that I stopped trying to swim; I'd already learned that the current was too strong to fight. To my astonishment, the wave picked me up and carried me back to the rock. I was a little disheveled and had a bleeding elbow, but I was in one piece all the same. As I layhyperventilating on the rock, I thought about how grateful I was to be alive, to be in such a beautiful place, to be surrounded by such loving people.
In my last post I wrote that "I found Hawaii to be a place where the earth is in constant communication with its inhabitants if they choose to listen carefully." In that moment, I felt as if the earth was truly communicating with me. This wave was a way to prepare me for the future. Living fully requires you to leave your comfort zone, to submerge yourself in the unknown. Nature always wins and you're much better off fighting with her than against her. During tumultuous times, often all you can do is ride the wave (no pun intended) and trust that you will get wherever you need to be.
Love and light,