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Remembering Maui

image of a stand of trees shrouded in fog behind a hedge
Morning Fog, Maui

Anytime I read the news and hear about the latest catastrophe, I can’t help but think about the people who are caught in the middle of it.

But this week’s news about the out-of-control fire that destroyed Lahaina hit me particularly hard.

There's a famous Mark Twain quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” Why are these words true?

As we travel, we form connections to places outside of our comfort zone. We see things a little differently and are reminded there’s a whole world of things going on outside of our day-to-day bubbles. It feeds our compassion a diet of new flavors.

Corie and I visited Maui a few years ago as part of a family trip.

As I read the news this week, I thought about the people we met in passing: the young man in the food truck that served Corie and me the best fish tacos we’d ever sunk our teeth into, the older man who put up with our strange excitement to find a poke bar inside a cramped liquor store; and the performers at the luau we enjoyed one evening as a family.

Their lives have completely changed this week. Their normal won’t return for quite some time.

The shock of seeing Front Street, the historic street we strolled on a few casual afternoons, engulfed in flames was too hard to look at. It was the same helpless feeling I had as the wildfire ravaged Northern New Mexico shortly after Corie and I moved to Tbilisi.

I’ve been reading some articles on the famous banyan tree in the town. Corie and I spent a couple hot afternoons under the tree’s shade enjoying the shaved ice we bought at a nearby store. The tree offered shade, rest, and peace.

Today, as sixty percent of the tree is burned, it offers hope. If the tree survives, some have said it will be symbolic of the town’s residents and their perseverance.

I hope it does.

Sadly, I do not have any photos of Lahaina, just the typical family snapshots taken at a time when no one would have imagined the scenic town reduced to ashes.

The images in this newsletter were taken on short day trips out of the town. I’ve included them to express my sympathy and hope for people who are as beautiful as the landscape they live in.

image of a waterfall and small pond nested in forest hills
Waterfall, Maui

Iao Needle framed by dense vegetation
ao Needle, Iao Valley State Park, Maui


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