Sometimes, when I venture up my valley, alone into its rainforests, I imagine being Joseph Conrad's Marlow, stumbling upon the ugly side of human nature. The book is Heart of Darkness. Though both lush, green, and wet, Manoa Valley is no Congo. Even at my lowest spirit, when I come out of my valley, I have nothing but pure happiness and gratitude for the experience, and the aching feeling to share the beauty to the special people in my life. I only hope I don't become an ivory trader in the process.
The more I explore the valley, the deeper I fall in love. Yesterday, I felt my heart grow double just so it could accommodate the feeling. This particular hike is level two of possibly 14 waterfalls. The first time terrified me though it was considerably drier and easier to climb. The waterfall was almost in full boast---it stood there spewing its grandness. "Look at how majestic I am!" I can almost hear it say through the loud gush. His "voice" was peaceful. It was also intimidating. Without looking, you could hear how powerful and high he was.
Beyond the main fall, like I said, are 13 others. I took a friend out for his first time and we climbed up to the second one. It's not an easy trail especially on a rainy day. Besides the little rope to guide you across into the pool at the top, the only way to get up is to climb up a series of random roots.
"Trust the roots," our hike-guru friend said before.
He was right. You have no choice but to trust the roots. Every step up had to be a good grip. One loose hesitation could send you falling into broken bones or worse. My heart still pounded, but mostly in anticipation of the beauty I know is waiting up top. I was so gay as in exceptionally happy to see my friend's reaction at the top. I think she agrees that my valley is indeed far superior.
As I descended, braille-climbing down the roots, I had a feeling---a blinding glimpse of the obvious probably, but at the time, an epiphany. I trust the roots, no doubt. But more importantly, I felt that to reach such great heights you need to trust yourself first. Whether it's your strength or gut feeling, trust it. Then commit. I feel that in the past I've doubted my own capabilities, whether it's to hike something like Puu Manamana or surf a new spot, take on a new job, or maybe even new love. Sure a chance of doom is in order, but a great big chunk of positive outcome is right there in our palms---a good grip of who you are and how far you can go and how far you can push yourself and how far you can let go.