A warm sun rising, viridian plants waving, birds singing 100 different songs; it is our last morning on the island.

I went to bed feeling content and woke up at 4 a.m. feeling overwhelmed. Like it all hit me at once that this is the last time I will stay in my parent’s condo for a Kauain holiday, because we will soon be living here. Not to mention the scope of what getting here will entail. I don’t look forward to all the work there is to do in actually selling a house, transitioning my practice, and preparing for a move over the next 4 months.

It’s time though. Times have changed and I changed with them. A slow rearranging of life’s tides reshaping my shores. Then all at once in the blink of an eye. Personal evolution can be a hard thing to measure, but I’ve traveled well beyond the bounds of who I was last year.

I can see the outline of a new life here. It’s just enough of a structure to feel there are some lines and parameters to give me a sense of guidance and direction in establishing a life here, but with enough gaps and blanks to give me plenty of space to create something new.

I feel bolder here. Like the birds of paradise unfurling their orange and purple plumes outside the front door, there is something unfurling inside of me that feels freer and more at liberty to do so here.

I find myself having the courage to start writing about more metaphysical and spiritual matters and my experiences with those, especially in relationship to my brother.

I have decided to get an etsy shop up and running sometime in the next 6 to 9 months so I can expand on and make my quirky illustrations and creative designs more accessible.

I’ve worked on my books, started a 4th one, began to see a long line of work that I wish to carry through to publication.

Mostly though, I can feel a visceral, tangible sense of untapped possibility waiting here. Like I will be given a blank canvas and get to create of it whatever I desire.

I can’t help but think back to a year ago on this island and how I was returning to Anchorage with these immeasurable, suffocating tasks of death and grief weighing on my shoulders. I had no idea what was going to be in store for me over the next few months or how long and dark would be the recesses of the seas of loss I had just been deposited into.

This year I head back with the tasks of sorting, releasing, goodbyes, moving. I guess when you compare that to last year, it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming. At least this life altering event is my choice and not a devastation of life’s making. And besides, this last year has taught me that no goodbye is truly permanent.

They are doorways for new hellos in new forms. Always something waiting on the other side. And those who are most important to us, those we’ve loved best, always find a way to meet us at the door. Even if they live in another state.

Even if they now simply exist in the beyond.

I sat outside on the lanai last night with my father talking about Brent. Dad has discovered the hard truth that the year mark only denotes that a year has passed, it doesn’t magically make the pain less.

Can you better sense him over here Dad?

I ask, because it is so easy for me to perceive him in this place, sometimes in more concrete ways when he makes his presence known, sometimes just as an energetic imprint when I can feel he’s close by and far away and everywhere all at once.

Dad thoughtfully considers, then shakes his head no.

We’re hard wired very different Dad and I. He’s one of the most concrete, practical people on the planet, me one of the most expansive and perceptive. He doesn’t see or feel or experience the way I do; I don’t organize, plan, and focus on minute details the way he does. But still, we are bound by the same heritage and since I so often feel Brent, I am curious if he can sense him to.

After a slight pause, he reconsiders his no and says, I can see him here BethAnne. It’s so easy to imagine him here, to visualize him in the places he loved. I keep seeing, half expecting, him to come walking up this path.

I tell him to take comfort in that. That that is it’s own form of seeing. Then we sit in silence and watch the sky change from rose to dusk to twilight.

The winds whoop and whistle with laughter and breath. The faintest flicks of stars begin to shine. An uncanny peace descends as night falls and everything is still and well and calm.

You can almost hear a presence, coming on up the path, past those blooming birds of paradise, round the corner and through the door.

I can’t wait to see what’s waiting on the other side.