Tag Archives: world travel

Hart Quill Blog | Hawaiians and the Sacred Aloha | HartQuill.com

Hawaiians & the Sacred Aloha

Hawaii is one of the major tourist spots in the world, and if you spend all of your time in Honolulu and Waikiki, a tourist experience is exactly what you will have. However, when I ventured outside of the blatantly tourist areas, Hawaii began to really show herself to me. I discovered islands of breathtaking tropical beauty, a slower speed of living, a quiet grace, and inevitably I found the spirit of “aloha”.

It’s not just a word, but a way of living

Aloha. From the native Hawaiian language, this word is rooted in “alo”, meaning presence or face, and “ha”, meaning breath. Aloha is most commonly used for both hello and goodbye, however, this word runs much deeper than these superficial meanings. In the Hawaiian culture, words have “mana” (pronounced: mah’nah, meaning spiritual or divine power), and aloha is among the most sacred. Aloha is a greeting of love when expressed with sincerity.

Aloha is embraced by Hawaiians and haoles alike. (Haole is the Hawaiian term for anyone not native Hawaiian or Polynesian.) The culture as a collective practices the spirit of aloha in daily life and human interaction. The essence of Hawaii has this subtle way of pulling one back to the basics of life – the beauty of nature, and what is important between human beings.

Your words have great power

Aloha. This one word typifies the power of our language, and how we affect other people with it. Words are potent, therefore it behooves us to choose and use them wisely. In this muddled up, confused and too-often-angry world, sometimes we feel powerless to change it in any significant, positive way. However our words, over which we have sole control and responsibility, are one way we can do that.

Aloha. Change the world.


Photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels


Hawaiians & the Sacred Aloha © Susan L Hart

Winding Road to Wisdom | A Return to Passion | HartQuill.com

Return to Passion & Blogging

I’m discovering that blogging is good for the soul. At least, that is, if one is writing from the heart. (I strive for that.) Strangely, my blog writing is uncovering an older passion of mine: ART. For almost 20 years I painted and sold my work professionally, and I taught art. I love to create, and there was a deep sense of fulfillment from both the doing and the teaching. That was all before my partner and I sold our possessions and set out on the road to travel. Then the “world of writing” opened up to me.

This hooks into another deep passion: The Earth. My art pieces, all those years, were primarily landscapes. I wanted people to see the beauty that is all around them, every day. Earth and nature are two of the themes in my writing; there have been posts here and on my Hart Haiku blog that focus on the beauty of nature, and its healing power. And now suddenly,  I’m feeling a deep need to (at least occasionally) supplement my words with my own images.

Words with images. I’ve been fascinated with the power of combining the two for as long as I can remember. It appears that I’m coming full circle from art to words and back to art. But this time it’s in a different way, weaving the two together.

Our winding roads to wisdom are all about this sort of discovery and expansion. In the upward spiral of soul growth, we sometimes come back to important things that we thought we had moved past. When they present themselves to us again, it’s a sign. There’s more there to discover…

In my recent post My journey begins: Quest for meaning, I write about an important moment on a small platform at Point Reyes, California, overlooking the Pacific. A series of paintings resulted from that trip, specifically from Yosemite National Park. I love trees, and they have been the subject matter of many paintings. The below piece shown (watercolor & pencil) is a depiction of a tree family – something I felt intuitively – which just 5 days ago I revisited in my Hart Haiku post Tree Secrets, Nature’s Wisdom.


And the beat goes on.


Painting Family © Susan L Hart & Return to Passion & Blogging © Susan L Hart

Winding Road to Wisdom | Gaia the Earth Goddess | HartQuill.com

Gaia the Earth Goddess Awaits

Who is Gaia? In short, “Gaia” is the Greek name for the mythological Earth Mother, the nurturer of all life. She is known by many names; the Incas dubbed her “Pachamama”. Whatever her handle, for those in touch with the Earth and nature, there is an unmistakable soothing quality. When we choose to tune into her, Gaia is waiting to heal us and balance us.

My poem Gaia the Earth Goddess was written after one of my visits to the beautiful, and still wild, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador:

Gaia the Earth Goddess

I step from boat to island shore
and she is waiting.
A warm soft wind gently
caresses my face.
The alluring scent of green
delicately fills my nostrils.

She seduces me.

A gleaming azure sky
calms my agitated mind.
Supple trees drape
the curving roadside,
a satin emerald cloak
befitting the Goddess.

She shimmers for me.

Brilliant sunlight dances
on a turquoise ocean.
The water glitters with diamonds,
coaxing me to play.
Graceful sea birds soar overhead,
calling me to be free.

She sparkles for me.

Exotic languorous lizards
ancient as all time
meander lazily on my path.
They scoff at all clocks!
Finally I relax into her
warm tranquil rhythm.

She soothes me.

Time slips away and
becomes meaningless here.
No demands, no expectations,
she loves me without condition.
She feeds my soul
with her enduring grace.
Her heartbeat is mine,
and mine becomes hers.

She saves me.

More on Gaia here: Greeting Gaia: In Love and Bounty


Gaia the Earth Goddess Awaits © Susan L Hart

Winding Road to Wisdom | Quest for Meaning | HartQuill.com

It Begins: Quest for Meaning

This post is about beginnings, of my journey as a traveler and writer. Essentially my travel has been a quest for wisdom outside the box. It is difficult to discover wisdom when we are imprisoned in boxes, the ones that we build for ourselves, and the ones society demands that we stay in.

Travel also revealed the writer in me, which I never could have predicted. Previously I had always defined my creative self as “artist”. Traveling has taught me many things, one of them being that we all define ourselves too tightly.

First the years of soul searching

During my early 20’s, I began reading many books on metaphysics and spirituality. Ideas that my mind had explored independently for years demanded it. I voraciously absorbed the knowledge logically, but there came a moment in Point Reyes, California, when I assimilated it at a feeling level. As I stood on a tiny platform looking out over the vast azure Pacific, my body tingled all over. I felt deeply my bond with this seemingly boundless body of water, and I understood the infinite nature of my soul and our connection to everything.


Our inherent childhood wisdom can become lost

Looking back I realize that my childhood self had already known this, but the logical world around me at the time did not support it. So, I had constantly questioned my own intuitive wisdom. Later, reading and exploring the ideas written by other people brought me into alignment with truths that already existed within me. In fact, that visit to the ocean brought me full circle back to myself. I do believe we are born with wisdom that is inherent. But our society values logic first and foremost, which can cause us to lose touch with it as adults.

A new chapter of my life begins

Fast forward another few years, and my partner and I sold everything we owned and began traveling. First stop was Hawaii, where we immediately befriended a free spirit surfer/photographer named Jim Welch. When you are passionately searching and you ask, the universe will work its magic and bring the right things and people to you.

We were all on a similar quest, to find some meaning in life outside the standard formula. I interviewed Jim about his personal experiences and philosophies, and wrote my first story during our travels (published by Escape Artist), called One Wave. And the journey continues…



It Begins: Quest for Meaning © Susan L Hart 2019