I figure a post of the schmoopy variety is needed as I am indeed on my honeymoon (or Mauimoon as we like to call it).
Here are ten signs that you’re on your Mauimoon. (If you are not on Maui or not on your honeymoon and still experience these things, you are living the life! You truly are.)
1. You take photographs of yourself hugging trees. If there is a tree in the vicinity, particularly a banyan tree, you want to wrap your arms around it. Though it could be any tree, really. All the trees around you seem to need love and you want to give it to them. Heart to bark, cheek pressed against branch, you know you’re needed and wanted.
2. You take photos of the “ring” tattoos on your hands. You try different hand poses, imagining you are hand models, but most photographs come out looking like interlaced hairy hotdogs (with tattoos). You find one photo that’s good and it reminds you of the day you got married at a tattoo parlor and had your Sanskrit chakra symbols inked on your left ring fingers. You are not freaked out by this inked form of scarification; you are glad for this permanent reminder of your unique commitment.
3. Your sweetie buys you red coral jewelry in Lahaina town from an old man who describes the red coral in this way: “This is *real* coral — it doesn’t come in red in the ocean — but red dye is lasered into it like the way they match the color of a crown to your teeth.” You feel that descriptions of dental work are somehow romantic as your sweetie buys you these red-dyed sea creature exoskeletons. And, of course, when you photograph your gift, you make a heart.
4. When you and your newlywed are in the most surfer-hippie town in Maui called Pai’a (a place you’d *love* to live someday), you enter a store called “Alice in Hulaland” that sells clothing, jewelry, bongs, and more. You buy your sweetie hooked, spiky earrings that make him look and feel tough and youthful. You feel like you are dating a bad ass. You realize you’re married to kind of a bad ass. A sweet one, but you know there is surely some bad in that ass.
5. You do random, spontaneous butterfly dances. You happen to be wearing a butterfly cover-up that your sister-in-law, who lives in Singapore, gave you for Christmas. All your beloved has to do is tell you, “go out there on the grass and dance like a butterfly” and of course you do. It’s natural. You feel like a butterfly, after all — winged, unbridled, light, and attracted to flowers — and then your sweetheart makes a movie of your dance and posts it on YouTube. What’s better than that?
6. Buddhas wearing leis make you cry a little. Well, Buddhas in general cause your heart strings to tug a bit anyway. You’re drawn to them like some people are drawn to the smell of freshly-cut grass. Buddhas make you feel unburdened, calm, thoughtful, safe. On your Mauimoon you see several Buddhas and they all stir up your insides a little — reminding you to be mindful of the present, to slow down, to appreciate life, yourself, and your love. You secretly wish you and your new husband would become monks in a Buddhist monastery. In Hawaii. Wearing leis.
7. The self-portraits you take of you two together are most often blurry, but one in the bunch is usually a gem. You try again and again during your trip to capture a moment of love and joy through the tiny lens of your camera phone, often slightly annoying your new husband (but who obliges anyway). After all those blind takes, you end up with something like this and you get oodles of “awwww…” comments on Facebook. Yeah, that’s a good one.
8. You can’t imagine not smelling plumeria flowers on a daily basis. Plumeria-scented candles and lotions aren’t the same. Those freshly fallen lovelies that you pick up off the grass are slightly warmed by the sun. You place the yellow center right up against your nose and inhale several times. There is nothing better than this, you think. This, and the man I am with. And then you make him smell the flower. The intoxicating quality is not quite the same for him, but he loves that you love them, so he makes sure you have your plumeria sniffing time. Your sweetheart is not jealous of your love and attachment to plumeria flowers. This is a good sign.
9. When you swim together you make sure not to collide with your new husband’s newly vasectomized testicles, though there are a few close calls and you apologize for the near-hits. He trusts you more than you trust yourself in this case (especially since you ask him to create a tunnel with his legs for you to swim through as you body surf into shore), but you swim and play anyway, and no tender regions are disturbed. You are thankful for his swimming bravery and for his contribution to your reproductive choices.
10. When you two visit a sacred garden and sanctuary in Makawao, you watch your love walk a labyrinth path with mindfulness and intention. You are thankful for his grace, strength, calm, and open heart. You are reminded that life is rather like this labyrinth — with pathways unclear, even when intentions are — and you are humbled to be on this certain, yet always uncertain path with a partner who does not complete you, but complements you; who is the yang to your yin; and who allows you to grow in all the ways you need to grow.