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  • Paulla Hunter

What to do with the trash?


I just got back from Kauai, and as you might have heard, they were hit with a flood the week before, so half of the Island was still digging out.

The part of the island we were staying on wasn't hit as hard, but the flotsam and jetsam was evident all over. They are doing a remarkable job cleaning everything up, but it is a huge task. The beach closest to our condo was cluttered here and there with roots and leaves, even an uprooted tree.

As we walked along, I saw this in the sand. Aloha means both hello and goodbye in Hawaiian and there was something quite moving about it for me.

On the one hand, they were saying goodbye to the flood, on the other, they were saying, "Hello! Don't count us out! We'll fix this."

We all have trash that floats through our lives occasionally, so that's not news to anyone. I think this beach art made me smile because it took the trash and made something fun. It isn't so much the trash we have to deal with, it is what we do with it that counts.

We can have a "flood" of a day where everything that can go wrong, does. We can dwell on it, and the trash will pile up in the corners of our day, or we can choose to diffuse it humorously, as in "Now God owes me a good day." or philosophically as in, "Into each life some rain must fall."

Do I do this? Probably not as successfully as I would like, but I am still in there swinging.

What we do with our trash eventually defines who we are and how we look at the world. If you accept that things are going to go wrong occasionally (this isn't heaven after all), but refuse to take it personally, perhaps even take the positive approach that it is making you a better person, you grow and better yet, you discover a rainbow. Aloha!


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