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Signs. They’re all around us, everyday directing us where to go, what to do, how to listen and when to stop.

Sometimes signs are subtle. It takes awhile to notice them. Like a butterfly floating near the blooms of a lilac bush. It is quiet, humble and waiting the moment when, out of the corner of your eye, you notice movement and finally witness its beauty and grace.

Other signs are not so subtle. They slap you in the face. Hard. Like the mosquito buzzing in your ear at three in the morning. You awaken quickly, probably smacking yourself in the head a few times because that annoying sound is so maddening and you can’t rest until you’ve addressed (killed) the little bugger.

Signs are different. They have to be. We probably wouldn’t acknowledge signs if they came at us the same way each time. The monotony would be overwhelming and we’d become numb.

On a wonderful September morning, mine came to me in an angelic place. A morning cruise around the Napoli coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. To outsiders, it probably appeared my life was good. And mostly it was, but not all of it. I wasn’t employed, I was single, I had a good home and a good family but I didn’t know what my future would be. Most of all, in my typical way, I was impatient to figure out things.

But then there was that sign. There, amidst all the turmoil and churning caused by thoughts racing marathons in my brain was this simple, beautiful sign. I think other passengers may have just looked and thought, wow the ceiling from a cave fell in and now there is sunshine on the water. Oh, and it’s pretty. And that’s what I thought too at first. Then I sat back and really looked.

My life was like the cave. It had been solid for a long time but then my ceiling had fallen down. Just like with the cave, there was an illumination in that moment. I was inspired.  It was beautiful. My racing thoughts slowed. I took a deep inhalation of the glorious saltwater air. I began to enjoy a future with endless possibilities and forget about what I could not change from the past.

And I was so thankful that sign had not come in the form of a mosquito at three am.

signs cave kauai

Cave, Napoli Coast, Kauai.