The Place that Called Me

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

August 31st, 2016 • Travel Dance HealPrint Print

Kauai CallingThis is quite possibly my favorite spot in Hawaii. It is my Gd/dess spot. It is where the Island told me to stay here and immerse myself in her Nature and allow the Island to wash over me and heal me. This is where I asked Kauai to Change Me. To change me in whatever ways I need to be changed, so that I undergo complete transformational healing. So that the cancer no longer recognizes my body, my being. So that the cancer no longer recognizes me as a host. This is where I felt a deep, deep connection to Kauai. In the peace and beauty and vastness of this trail.

Also this trail was very challenging for me, on the first and second takes as well as today, because it’s always super muddy. Muddy = slippery + getting stuck. Today I went three times as far as I went on the first time I hiked here. I went through a crazy muddy stretch, where I walked very slowly and carefully, planning ahead on each step like a chess move. Once I thought I would have to leave my shoe in the mud, because it was entrenched so deep! I had to work hard to pull my leg out with my shoe attached. I felt so very proud of myself. Going on these hikes, especially alone, is risky. I could slip and hurt myself badly, and possibly nobody would find me in time to help, because few people hike this trail. I could sprain my sensitive ankles and be unable to get back or, because cell phones don’t work here, call for help. I could get dehydrated. I could encounter a crazy dog on the lose. Or a crazy man. Gd/dess forbid to all of these, of course.

I bring this up because what I am doing here, on Kauai, on these trails, is bold and badass. I am risking and stepping outside my comfort zones, as a person with disability issues and health issues, and as a woman. I am allowing myself the space I need to grow into my big, strong, healthy self. And I am trusting myself. And I love this challenge of becoming stronger and healthier, always, on so many levels at once. And I love seeing how I can do more and more, and do it faster and easier, each time I do it.

Today I came to a place in higher up in the trail where there is a big fat tree all across the trail. You cannot go under. You have to go over. That involves hoisting and possibly slipping. It involves arm muscles, stomach muscles, leg and ankle muscles, all kinds of stuff. And I did it. I did it!!! I did it slowly and mindfully. And then I kept walking up, up, up. And on my way back, I stood and faced the mountain and view that told me to stay in Kauai, and I sang Hallelujah in a melody I made up. I sang it and sang it and sang it. Then I sang it walking. Then I sang the shebahoth – the Iraqi Jewish sacred songs. Then I climbed back on top of the tree, to get back down to my car. And then I sat on this tree and bonded with Her and sang and sang and sang some more.

And then…Dogs. On the loose. I hollered to the owner, asking her to please keep the dogs away from me becuase I have medical conditions and I can’t be near dogs. OMG she cared and responded! It took her a bit to register what I had just said, and her dog was running toward me already. But the dog went back when she called him. I then asked her to just give me a head start, so I could stay away from the dogs.

Then I walked as fast as I could down the path. I did not appreciate how my communing with nature was cut short because a dog owner disregarded the sign very clearly posted right at the entrance, that dogs must be on leashes. It was compounded by all the other dog owners who interfered with my ability to romp around freely, because they too disobeyed leash laws or entirely broke the laws about not bringing dogs. Then I got to the big fat long muddy part. Shit shit shit. I wanted to walk fast to get away from the dog but not walk so fast that I slipped. I felt the pressure. I heard the dogs. I was pretty damn impressed with myself how quickly, on the way back, I was finding where to put my feet and moving forward. And I also noticed my thigh-groin crease – an area that was injured many years ago during physical therapy, and that has been one hell of a bitch to heal – was getting pulled at and overextending, causing pain. Fuck!

Either way, a dog on the loose can hurt me, I thought, either by barreling at me or by me bolting from it, to avoid it barreling at me. I heard the dogs right behind me and got heightened anxiety and turned around to gauge how close they were – why was the owner allowing them to get so close to me!? – and saw, to my great relief, that the owner had leashed both of them. I thanked her profusely. Even though, by law, she should have leashed them to begin with. Focus on the positive! Then she told me it was good I caught them in time, because the dog had attacked another woman on a tree, earlier. She then clarified that she meant the dog jumped on the tree and started licking the woman, because the dog is still like a puppy at 4 years old. She said that woman was totally freaked out. I’m saying uh-huh, uh-huh, and thinking, why would you keep your dogs off-leash, when not only the sign says to leash them, but also you just freaked out a woman as a result of the dogs being off-leash? How many women do you need to put in fight/flight mode before it occurs to you to keep your dogs on leash?

Anyhow, I let them all pass, and then I was able to slow down and enjoy the beauty around me. I called my mom and asked for healing energy, and I was really quite alright – I didn’t get affected as I had in the past and as I anticipated might happen given the thigh/groin thing. Which was amazing. Because other than that, this was just a glorious experience.

Thank you Kauai. Thank you Trail. Thank you Mountain. Thank you Tree. Thank you Sunlight. Thank you Clouds. Thank you Grey. Thank you Gd/dess.



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