Religion, A Photograph

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs
for their religion–
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
– John Keats

Religion, Jennifer Allison

Kona, Hawaii and Hard Shelled Ninja Sleepers

A few months back I visited Kona, Hawaii for a week-long vacation with friends.  I had been to Kona before, as well as all of the islands, however this trip wasn’t work related so I had an opportunity to really settle in, sleep in, eat in and generally love the island up.    As I’ve said before in other posts I’m not really much of a shopper.  When I do shop I’m searching for something specific and will spend all day looking if need be.  However typically I don’t just shop to shop….especially at obnoxious tourist stores.  I’d rather take a swift blow to the head then pick through cheesy trinkets made by machines and plastic and such.  How many shot-glasses does one really need anyway?  I have one that I bought at the grocery store after my other one broke – it’s plain glass and well used.  When I make drinks for people no one ever asks me where I bought my shot-glass…

So when my friends announced they’d be filling the car and heading out one morning for a day of shopping and lunch I politely declined the invitation; letting my feet take me to the local beach – towel in bag and book in hand.  I had been going through one of my introverted phases and was in need of alone time anyway, especially after sharing a house with so many women.  Fortunately for me, they’ve know me for years and years and don’t even bat their eyes when I go off on my own.

Enjoying the sights and sunshine I walked quite a way down the dark sand beach, away from all the vacationers and locals as well, until I found the perfect quiet spot to sit and read my book.  It wasn’t until I settled in and was on my fifth or so page that I noticed I had unsolicited company just a few feet away.  I’m not sure if he was there when I arrived or had with Ninja-like skills, come out of the water to relax without me hearing.  I was enjoying my book, but for me not to notice an enormous sea turtle sunning himself beside me was highly unlikely.  However and whenever he got there I don’t know; though he was so beautiful and peaceful I was grateful for the company.  As I introduced myself he didn’t stir.  Instead he slowly opened one eye before returning to his deep, sun-drenched slumber.

After about twenty minutes of reading and listening to the sounds of the ocean I happen to look up to the water and noticed yet another Ninja was making his way to sun himself alongside of me.  I sat and watched his slow, methodical process.  As the small waves came to shore he would use them to his advantage; pushing himself by his flippers through the sand and rocks each time.  He would then wait patiently for the next wave to help him along.  The ocean was like a mother scooting her child along, feet dragging, off to bed to rest.  The sea turtle, half asleep, was her child.

As I left the beach hours later I thanked each of my guest Ninjas (there were a total of three – the last making his way just before I left) and wished them all well.  The largest of the three offered me another slowly opened eye and I was off again on my way down the dark sand beach utterly at peace; not even offended that they didn’t get up to see me off or offer me a shot glass with a map of Hawaii on it……

Ninja II