I was lucky enough last year to spend a week in Hawaii, on the Big Island. I picked the Big Island of all Hawaii’s glorious locations, because it is the one most known as a spiritual place, a sanctuary and inspiration for those going through challenging times. From the very first day, I was able to “feel” this island and I mean by that, as well as being a wondrous assault on the senses in terms of it’s beauty, it is also a place I feel a connection with in my soul. Dominated by 5 volcanoes, one of which is the largest in the world and very much active, the landscape is unique, stunning and ever-changing and growing. The analogy with a life in transformation is not lost on many people who visit.
One of the features of my time there was the presence of rainbows. The second morning I got up early and went out to watch the sunrise and to take a look at the beautiful seascape by the hotel – I was rewarded with a spectacular rainbow that formed an arc over the still waters of the bay. There were beautiful rainbows on many days that followed (the West side of the island is known for its precipitation with over 300 inches of rain a year) But none were so spectacular as the one I saw on the last day.
I took a helicopter trip over the volcanoes – I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was to see the raw power of nature at work, the fierce force of fire and the sheer beauty of growth and renewal it represents, so close up. But one of the other things of utter glory I witnessed happened as we passed the Mauna Loa volcano. I mentioned to the pilot that I could see a rainbow forming just behind us, so he turned back into it and told us that in doing so we would see a full circle rainbow. Well did you ever realize there was such a thing? I didn’t. I never knew that this was possible and was completely awed by seeing it in a helicopter at 12000 feet. It did indeed form a complete circle of total brilliance. Watch it in the video here to see how awesome it is.
So that puts the end to the myth of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow doesn’t it? Well that was my reaction – though at least it meant I could stop chasing in vain! I mentioned this to a fellow traveler, lamenting that the possibility was now gone. Her reply was just beautiful – she said, “well the point is, you are the pot of gold.”
How poignant is that? And it had a profound impact on me – because I have spent my entire life trying to find happiness outside myself. Constantly looking for my joy by seeking it in and through others. And I was blissfully happy with Maria – but she became my meaning in life. When I lost her, I also felt like I had lost my reason for being. In grief, the need to re-establish that reason for being by seeking someone else to find happiness with, was almost overwhelming. The full circle rainbow was a powerful reminder that I am the source of my own happiness – that my pot of gold is within me.
So that place over the rainbow? That place where troubles melt like lemon drops? Where the dreams that you dare to dream really can come true? Well if you’re like me, then perhaps it’s time to come full circle – and find that place inside you 😉