Friday, August 30, 2013


Mark and I are on our honeymoon. We had our commitment ceremony last Saturday night - an event which I will write about once we get the pictures from the photographer. Suffice it for now to say that it was an unforgettable event, magical, spiritual, warm, wet, fun, deeply fulfilling and beautiful.

Once we got back from San Francisco in early August, we had only two weeks to finalize preparations for our ceremony, which is the main reason I didn't get much blogging done before the wedding. And I haven't had time to do anything all week, but the time has come to do some catching up. There are lots of lessons I've learned and insights I've had in the past few weeks, and I'm anxious to flesh them out by writing about them on this blog.

At 5:35 a.m. this past Wednesday morning, our plane left the gate at Salt Lake airport on our way to Los Angeles, where we would change plans for our flight to Maui. We arrived at 11:30, and by the time we collected our baggage and rental car, stopped at Costco and Safeway for food and other supplies and headed out to Little Beach, it was 3:00. It felt good to be at our "home away from home."

We started planning this trip right after Mark's cancer diagnosis in early April. For several years, Mark had envisioned taking a "monster trip" in 2014 to commemorate his 60th birthday. Maui. Japan. Nepal. India. It would be a spiritual odyssey of a lifetime. But after the diagnosis, everything changed. For one thing, we really didn't know at that time what the next six months would hold in terms of Mark's health. For another, we quickly ruled out going to India. Healthy tourists get sick there all the time; we didn't want to risk introducing Mark into that environment.

And so this trip to Maui and Japan evolved quite rapidly. We are here in Maui for a week, then we will travel to Japan for three weeks, then come back to Maui where we will spend one more week before heading home.

The Kihei Cafe serves the best breakfast in this part of Maui. We went for our once a week breakfast this morning.

Among those people who were told about our trip, many said, "Why Japan?"

Mark spent basically the first ten years of his life in Japan, where his father was a Lutheran pastor and missionary. The family came home to the States in 1964, and Mark has wanted to go back there ever since.

Mark's Kindergarten class. He is easy to spot.

And so, here we are in Maui on the first leg of our trip. This is our chance to unwind after the pressure of the past few weeks and, indeed, from the past few months. 

Mark seems to have a thing for parasols when he's on a beach in Hawaii.

We were the first ones on the beach this morning. The crab holes and sand piles had not yet been washed away.

Early mornings are extraordinarily beautiful on Little Beach.

Every day with Mark is a day I cherish and a day that I could never have foreseen three years ago. I have been reading Wayne Dyer's book on the Tao Te Ching and came across this passage the other day:
"Stop chasing your dreams. Allow them to come to you in perfect order with unquestioned timing ... You don't really need to rush or force anything. Be an observer and receiver rather than the pushy director of your life."
As I have looked back on my life, I receive witness of the truthfulness of this statement. As I look forward into an uncertain future and live my life and our lives day by day, I receive wisdom from this statement. And I rest in the wisdom, love and insight of this blessing offered by my oldest son on the day of our wedding:

"May you both find peace and joy, as two parts of a new whole."


  1. Beautiful - in every way!

    Best wishes,
    Gary and Brad

  2. I'm so happy for you both. I'm sure that your commitment ceremony was a great event. Enjoy your honeymoon to Hawaii and Japan.