Aerial view of Lāhainā, Maui. Photo: Courtesy of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources/Dan Dennison
In 2022, during December’s record-low temperatures, Todd & I somehow got our family of 6 out of the Midwest & on a plane to Maui. We knew no one–well, actually, THEY knew no one.
I had been sharing the screen for weekly team calls & 24/7 support for a year with a community I felt were more than just my business partners. Regardless of the weather & all of the canceled flights, my intuition told me that THIS was the time to meet them, hug them, & solidify our connection to these magical human beings…
We stayed in Puamana, a community of homes lined with palm trees that Annie rode her bike to each morning with her surfboard. These “strangers” didn’t miss a beat–we drank our water from a machine Isaiah loaned us, cooked dinners (Todd did) & broke bread together, celebrated Hanukkah as a family with our traveling menorah & dreidels, learned to surfed with G, snorkeled in the clear blue water at Kaanapali, walked past Holy Innocents every day on our way to the perfect acai at Baya Bowls, ate fresh fish at Captain Jack’s across from the Banyan Tree, shopped the stores in Lahaina,, & on & on…Our last night on island 13 of us caravanned up Haleakalā to watch the sun set above the clouds.
We had no idea how we could adequately thank them for the gift of their time & generosity. Unfortunately, now we do.
What we learned is that even though we felt celebrated while we were there, we were not special. Or, we WERE special, we ARE special, because we were there. And that is who “they” are.
If you have ever been to Lahaina, to Maui, or even to Hawa’ii, you know. And YES, there is a way to THANK THEM. Because if you were there, they treated you the same. If it’s not through this campaign, PLEASE support their healing–the replanting, the rebuilding, the immense grieving that may never subside..
They were always there for us, it’s our turn now.