Pay attention to the signs. They’re all around us. Sometimes I get really powerful reminders of this truth.
Last week, while on the beautiful island of Maui for a yoga retreat, two friends and I took an afternoon excursion to upcountry. My husband and I had visited the island two years earlier and had discovered that the property we were staying on was also home to birthing pools where Hawaiian women once had gone to deliver their babies.
The energy there is palpable and powerful, and it was an honor to be able to visit the pools again.
My friends and I carefully climbed over the rocks and waded into the water. We joined hands. We prayed. We listened. We thanked the spirits of all the brave women who had given birth here. I could feel their presence, surrounding us in endless circles of support and strength.
So there we were, completely immersed in the power of the moment, when we heard a rustling behind us. And here came a young white dog, joyfully charging right toward us. She was a puppy, definitely less than a year old, and her appearance pushed me right over the edge into giddiness and joy.
Pele, the powerful Hawaiian Goddess of fire and volcanoes, is known to travel in the company of a white dog. Sometimes she even takes on the appearance of a white dog to deliver messages.
Most of the stories I’ve read about Pele are scary. There are many warnings about the things that happen to people who do not pay her proper respect. But like Kali, she is not just the Goddess of destruction. She is also the Goddess of creation – just like the Great Mother of the Paleolithic era. She is the all-encompassing, the light and the dark. The terror, but also the joy. She is the Goddess of dance. And for me, in this moment, she was the Goddess of pure gratitude and love – in the form of one very wet, enthusiastic puppy.
The dog stayed close to us the whole time we were at the pools. No owner ever appeared. At one point she crawled into my lap, gleefully getting me soaking wet and trying to nip at my fingers to entice me to play. I could not stop laughing, simply at the sheer beauty of this life.
When we felt complete, we gave our offerings and our thanks to the waters, and prepared to head back to our hotel. And just like that, our dog friend moved on too. For the rest of the afternoon, my face hurt from smiling so much.
May we all have soul level friends that we can share powerful experiences with. May we wade into sacred waters, always remembering to offer our gratitude. May we receive the wisdom of those who have gone before us with open hearts. And may we laugh until we cry at the beauty of this gorgeous life.