Monday, July 7, 2008


It's my birthday and I have been given many gifts.

Today, I wished upon tiny sherbet orange seastar. A fat white tip reef shark joined our snorkel prowling beneath us, reminding us that she was simply there. White antennas extended into the milky blue, leading us to the crays' hiding places. And brown and white-feathered head-dresses waved at us, revealing where two magnificent lionfish were sleeping. These were my gifts from the sea.

Dripping wet, I walked by a Fijian woman working in a restaurant and I was struck by how perfectly her lipstick matched the flower behind her ear. I complimented her. Anyone who knows anything about Fiji knows it is the Fijian way, when complimented to give it away. I forgot and was given the best gift.

After much protest she gave me her flower and then her eyes sparkled as she told us, "I get so much more than I give, I give my things, my chains, my earrings and I get so much more. I have something for three months and then it is gone, I give it away. When I give my heart is more full and I receive so much more. You do not even know how lucky I am; the more I give away the more it just keeps coming. The only thing that is important to keep is my heart and that I keep on filling."

This is coming form a woman who basically has nothing but a couple of gold fillings, enough food to eat, and a poorly paying job. Give it away and you will keep getting so much more in return. This is a precious reminder and an important gift to remember.

Here in Fiji I find myself still holding onto the sweet memories of our time with dear friends in Colorado. Since returning from the mountains, we have been immersing ourselves back into our watery world. After a couple of days in Vuda Point Marina where we nursed our friend hangover and my cold, recovered from jetlag, washed our dirty laundry, and re-provisioned we headed back out. Destination, Musket Cove.

We have been on a mooring in Musket Cove, a well known and historical cruiser hangout and watering hole less than 20 miles from Nadi, Fiji for over a week now. This place is its own little tourist village. Hibiscus flowers line the paths down the island, bursting out in every color and kind Fijians stop to say Bula everywhere. There is a little grocery store, more than 5 bars and just as many hotels.

Those of you who know us may ask, why did we come and what are we still doing here? We came to take a 5 day Rescue Dive Course and have stayed, forcing ourselves to be grateful, do what we need to do for our boat and ourselves and to slowdown once again.

For us, Musket Cove has been another gift. We have been able to leave our boat for the entire day and sleep through the night without worrying about the wind shifting or our anchor dragging. We have gained important dive skills, have been able to work on the boat and get some badly needed coats of varnish on, and will hopefully have the opportunity for Gar to get some kite-surfing practice in.

Reflecting on our lives under cloudy skies and freshening trade winds, we are grateful for all of our gifts. We are so lucky to have our health, each other, amazing friends and family, and the opportunity to do this in our lives. We will aspire to keep on giving more than we get.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great update, Nicole. We especially liked the story of the Fijian woman who gave you her flower. "Pay It Forward" is important to remember. Wishing you well, as you prepare to sail into the sunset.
Chip and Rudy