I remember floating in my own pool in Maui.
Of all the memories I have, this sliver of a moment where this small body of water belonged only to me is the one thing that feels real and vivid when I think back on it. More than the memories of waking at an ungodly hour to chase sunrise peeking over the clouds at the summit of the Haleakala Crater. Or breezing through the hike amongst bamboo trees and splotchy patches of sunlight on the Pipiwai trail. Or the rickety drive on the Road to Hana. Or desperately hunting for ice cream in candy colored buildings in an attempt to temporarily and unsuccessfully trick myself into believing that Hawaii's July heat wasn't all that bad.
(All of which you should heavily consider doing if you find yourself in Maui, by the way.)
Carpe diem, okay?
(If you catch that reference, I adore you.)
After sprinting my way through the Pipiwai Trail-- patience is not my strong suit / I fooled myself into thinking I would get attacked by fewer mosquitoes if I ran rather than walked -- I was drenched in humid and sticky sweat, fully ready to cool off with a swim. The Seven Sacred Pools in Haleakala National Park are a string of small waterfalls funneling into swimming holes separated by jagged rocks. While the general public preferred to wade in the larger shallow pools, I opted for jumping a fairly decent height to dive into a small pool I could have for myself.
This isn't my first time diving from rocks, but I've found that it doesn't get easier over time-- at least not for me. The nerves always set in as I peer over the edge, crumbling my limbs into an uneasy and wobbly mess. The rebel in me wants to take the damn leap, and the safe side of me is wondering if the water is deep enough, or how far or close I should jump away.
Whatever. Carpe diem.*
* On a serious note, the water levels in the pools change throughout the year, and people have died from jumping in. I was lucky that a local was nearby to assure me that it was safe to jump. Handy guide was found here after the fact while writing this post.
Nothing quite like being submerged in water to wake you up from the lazy slowness that a warm humid day brings. At the lowest point of my plunge, I feel the brush of rocks on my toes and instinctively pull my legs up away from the bottom. Close call. As quickly as it happens, I'm adrift on the surface. Water floods my ears, I stop holding my breath, and I finally let myself relax (since when are your mid-twenties supposed to feel this stressful?). After I've had my fill of floating, I'm ready to dive back in again.