Listen to the Earth and take care of her, as she is taking care of us…
The Hawaiian Islands are home to the most isolated population in the world, courtesy of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by so much water, separated from continents by thousands of miles in any direction.
Water is the most powerful and uniquely diverse element in the world. We use it to soothe and quench us, yet it can also be an incredibly destructive force. A waterfall welcoming to swimmers one day can fill from a big rain and become dangerous the next.
Perhaps that is why the Hawaiian people are so balanced. If you are listening to the ocean/Earth and taking care of it (as it is taking care of us), you can know — and respect — the difference. I know countless people who come to Hawai’i and say that this place “does something to them.” It is a special place, it really is. Ancient Hawaiians believe their ancestors hail from the roots of plants grown here from centuries ago, and it is this same genealogy and energy that makes everyone feel so connected.
We can find so many answers in the practices of indigenous cultures, and encourage everyone to understand our relationship with the land/ocean around us. I love taking photos of Hawai’i and waterfalls, beaches and fresh fruit stands. It is what makes this place so unique. Every time I take a photo of a time or place, I am creating and capturing history. But the only way to truly preserve these special places is through accountability.
One way that I maintain a balance with the ocean/Earth is acknowledging and monitoring my product consumption. I have made it a point to stop using one-use plastic. Every time I order a cup of coffee I bring my own [glass] cup and/or ask for sustainable paper cups. I avoid buying products that are heavily packaged by plastics. And whenever I am on the beach (or at my favorite waterfall… or anywhere, for that matter!) I always pick up whatever trash that was left behind.
There is a mass of trash floating in the ocean called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch caused by “improper waste management and proper disposal” to which we have all contributed. And unless we start being more conscious of our consumption and how we are affecting the ocean and Earth… we are the imbalance. And the ocean/Earth will push back.
So I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy this beautiful world we live in. But remember that we are in a relationship with it and we need to treat it well! How are you giving back to the places that have given so much to you?
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