Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole and landed in Wonderland. Lucy walked to the back of the wardrobe and found herself in Narnia. And Maridel slipped past the Pineapple Portal and entered Hawaii Heaven. How many times did I walk past the orange gate on my way into Haiku Town without ever noticing it? But that’s the magic of a portal into another world: It’s so much a part of the landscape that you don’t see it … until you do.
 
Looking for a new place to walk one day, Karren Louise and I found ourselves at a dead end. “Anywhere to walk around here?” we asked a nearby local. “Just across the street in the pineapple fields is a great walk,” he said. “They’re not working the fields anymore because of the economy.”

We crossed the street, slipped past the industrial, day-glo gate and set our feet on a wide, pressed-dirt path. Prickly pineapple fields as far as the eye could see! Yet as we walked, the path opened up into multiple paths, all intertwining and gently sloping upward. The more we trekked, the more our world expanded. We still couldn’t see where the fields ended, but we could see a panoramic universe! No matter what direction we turned, a new vista greeted us: hills, stands of trees, flowers, mountains, sky, clouds…and eventually the ocean!

Just a few days ago, I slipped through the Pineapple Portal again, this time by myself. The experience of the first time suddenly felt like a mere preview of “coming attractions.” My God! It really was another world—more fantastic and spectacular than my mind had been able to take in on the initial visit. Walking, then running along the empty paths, ancient-sounding syllables came to my lips, and for half an hour they were the only thing I could think or say. I repeated them over and over as if their vibration was in perfect sync with the vibration of the land. I was no longer a woman living in 21st century Hawaii. I was in another dimension, singing words that were holy and seeing the world as if it had just been birthed from nothing. And when I came to the ocean, its waters spilled out of my eyes and the flow of my words dropped to a whisper.

I don’t know what those words mean any more than I understand how another world could exist around the corner from my house. But what I do know is that my experience there in the pineapple fields carries a deep teaching: the deeper in we go, the more expanded we become.

I pray that some day soon the Pineapple Portal will be forbidden to me--that the fields will once again be a source of livelihood for Maui. But until then, I will return to Hawaii Heaven as a guest and let it tell me what I need to know.

What new world is right around the corner from you?

A Hui Hou, (til we meet again)
Maridel

P.S. I made a special trip through the Pineapple Portal so that I could put a picture on this blog. Alas, it's impossible to photograph another world! (You'll just have to come see me.)