Trust in Kauai – Zip lining.

Living my zip line dream on our Hawaiian vacation taught me to trust.

Living my zip line dream on our Hawaiian vacation taught me to trust.

Zipline Solo photo

“Just keep walking until there’s nothing under you, then sit down and enjoy the ride” I waited ‘til last in line,  grabbed the strap with both hands, took a deep breath and walked off the platform at 10,000’. A hundred shades of green, mountain peaks, ponds and waterfalls lay below me, but I was too busy trying to steer and land feet first to notice them on that first run. Bundy told us later that was the highest point on Hawaii’s garden island– Kauai. I was zip lining! Whoo Hoo!

The gear felt surprisingly heavy at first, but I was thankful for every ounce when it carried me. “Keep your hands off the cable! Only hold the strap, not the metal clip above it. Just relax into the harness. It will hold you.” Bundy told us. “Steer with your knuckles. Turn them toward your knees. Feel the tension like steering into a slide when driving on icy roads.” Good advice, but how do they know about icy roads in Hawaii?

My word for 2014 is Trust. What a way to push off for the year! Letting go at those heights? Yes, I was shaky, and grabbed the strap as if my life depended on it– well, it did. But that strap and harness would hold even when I let go. My energy was better spent enjoying the view and the experience.  That’s my take away for my Trust year.

The first run was the shortest. They got longer, lower, and more fun when I remembered to exhale and relax into the ride.

We had a great group—lots of laughter and encouragement. The young couple always made perfect landings; experience was with them. Margaret and Bill from South Bend and I took photos of each other, soon to be shared between us. Jean and Walter quickly picked up the steering strategy.

John knew what to expect because he had done the same runs a few years earlier with his daughter. While we waited for the shuttle, he honored me by sharing their story. She would have been with him again, had she not passed a few months ago. This time he dropped a lock of her hair on her favorite run. My heart goes out to their family.

Randy was our strong and very upbeat Hawaiian “catcher”. I panicked on my first run when I came into the platform backwards, but soon learned he “had my back”.  Trust feels great. I felt no more fear, just exhilaration at actually being there and fulfilling my dream.

By the fourth run, I let go of one hand, and finally drank in the breathtaking view. Steering didn’t matter anymore. I wanted to remember this first zip line experience. My husband chose the ground tour so he could get some great photos, which we are enjoying now. I hope we will come back and zip line together. Now to Hang Loose for the rest of 2014.





Digging for Hope

Colors wink at me today where monster weeds and tangles of roots drowned my spirit just over a month ago. My garden brings me hope for a fresh start.  A couple of years ago I was climbing out of post-chemotherapy fatigue when the snow disappeared. This year our snow hung on well into May— ramping up our excitement to celebrate spring. I can count on the garden to give me the boost I need after low times. It’s a special gift to my spirit.

Clearing flower beds of choking weeds and roots felt personal for me. Uprooting weeds satisfies something primal in me. I love liberating the garden from invaders. Do I sense an urge to clear paper piles? Oops, this might be contagious…

We relished trips to garden centers. The pungent smell of moist earth greeted us. Our senses swam with all the textures and colors; fuscia, blazing red, indigo, happy yellow, and stark white. Let’s see, which ones did well last year in the shade?  Sun? and which perennial plants made it through our hard winter?

Digging in the dirt calmed my monkey mind. Rich, freshly composted soil under my fingernails signaled my connection to the earth. Clean black soil seemed to restore a peace in my soul. ..

Time in my garden has become an active meditation for me, accompanied only by birds’ songs. Silence is healing. My cancer-prevention medication brings on drenching sweats—on non-humid days. Now, with high humidity, dripping sweat and sore muscles, my body protests. The work is a stretch, but it  feels good, because I know beauty and joy will follow. Finally in mid July, dozens of shades of green set off the parade of color in our 6 gardens. I’m outdoors first thing in the morning and last thing at night, drinking in the freshness and smells of summer. Fireflies sparkle and surprise at days’ end.

Weeding and coaxing my garden back to life is an annual ritual I trust. It’s even more meaningful now that the cancer is completely gone. Not long ago, I ripped open a new seed packet and retrieved just one seed.  Carefully tucking it just below the surface of the soil, I covered it with a bit more soil and watched and watered it in my sunny window garden—planting for the future. It’s amazing, really, that new life will spring from that.  A few weeks ago, I planted the whole tiny pot in my garden, and it’s already growing fast.  Now the tiny plant is ready for “real life” outdoors. New beauty, new hope. Another miracle, just like each new year in my blessed life. Thank you, God!

Where do you find hope? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by!


© Sandra Sunquist Stanton MS, NCC, LPC, BCC Connections of the Heart LLC
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