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Magic Brownies
by Peggy Kemp

I'd like to invite you to take an imaginary brownie off the plate and celebrate with me. Huna has taught me a whole new way of looking at the concept of "magic brownies". I grew up in the 1960's, when "magic" brownies described the ones we made with pot in them. They had a variable action; they could make you a little goofy and give you the munchies, or take you on quite a journey.

Well, this is the year 2000 and these brownies don't have pot in them, but I'd like to take you on a little magic journey with me. I've made these brownies to celebrate my new car partner, Emilia Lehua Mitsubishi Galant. She's elegant, but she's got her quirks. I know we are going to be fast friends. At least if she has her way... she likes to go fast. I also made the brownies to celebrate getting my first driver's license! In the last 2 weeks I have bought a car; had it repaired to road safety level; practiced driving (and PARKING); took my road test and yesterday I got my license! Today I dropped my sister off at the airport; and went on to take the car in for a second scheduled repair. Then I picked it up, drove it back to work, and then drove home. It was the first time I'd driven by myself in 4 years, and that was out in the deep country with no traffic.

I'm 47 years old, and I've just gotten my first driver's license. Serge talks about rituals on the Healer Training tapes, and one ritual he mentions is that of getting your driver's license when you're a teenager. It's a rite of passage into adulthood, even though it may not be celebrated as such. I'd like to go the other direction and celebrate it as a rite of passage into childhood, a childhood filled with independence and adventure and fun, the childhood I didn't have.

As a teenager, I was shy and gawky and scared of my own shadow. I took driver's education and learned to drive; and I liked to drive very fast, but I didn't get my license, because I didn't feel like I could see well enough. I thought other drivers were probably crazy and not to be trusted. I let those two ideas color my entire driving experience for the next 30 years. I had several permits, and I drove out in the country, even on narrow mountain roads in a truck loaded down with firewood, but I never got my license.

The first time I came to Kauai, I saw right away that I would eventually have to drive, in order to fully explore the island. The second time, I took taxicabs and spent a fortune getting out to the very end of the island, so I could be out in my favorite parts by myself and find out if the Island wanted me to live here. I also walked about 25 miles that week. The third time I got off the plane, I was moving here.

I had a strong new dream, one that compelled me to leave my family, my oldest and dearest friends and many new and equally dear ones, an interesting and well-paying job, and a lovely garden to come to the Garden Island and study Huna, hula, and tropical horticulture and healing with plants. A dream that involved driving. Just before I left Seattle I had an appointment with my eye specialist. He examined and tested my eyes thoroughly and told me that as long as I wore my glasses, I was perfectly safe to drive. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "The only thing that's keeping you from driving is YOU."

I began to dream a different dream, determined that my world included me driving on Kauai. It included me driving my own car, a blue car with an automatic transmission and a sun-roof. I decided to discard some limiting thinking, some thinking that doubted I could do it. There are no limits to what we can do, if we want to enough. I told myself I could do it; that now was the moment. I got enthusiastic about it, and refused to listen when others wondered if I could really do it. Instead I focused on the dream and sent energy to it. I didn't want to wait any longer; I wanted it now, in this present moment. I felt happy whenever I thought about how much fun it would be to be able to just hop in my car and go wherever I wanted to, to be spontaneous, to adventure out on my own. I saw myself driving up to the Arboretum to be with the painted eucalyptus trees and the big bullfrogs. I thought often about how much I'd learned from needing to ask others for rides, for help and about how good it would feel to be the one who could help others, do some of the driving for the carpools to hula and talk story. I told myself many times that I had the inner power it takes to do it. That was probably the main thing, believing in my own moxie, instead of the little fear stories.

When I started looking for a car, the first one that came to me was a sporty red Nissan Pulsar with a 5-speed manual transmission, T-top, a powerful stereo system, and six speakers. A true rock and roll mobile. I fell in love with her right off. I sat on the lanai and went to my garden and asked her what her name was. "Kala," she whispered back. "Kala, freedom." I did a test drive and had a lot of other people test-drive her, and was ready to have a mechanic look her over. Even though the fellow who was selling her seemed like a straight-ahead kind of guy, a really nice guy we all liked, he failed to show up on the day we had an appointment with the mechanic, or return any of my calls. Was there something seriously wrong with the car? Did he sell her to some one else?

Or was it because my intention all along had been to find a blue car with an automatic transmission? I'll probably never know the answer to that one. Four days later I decided I just had to quit wondering and get serious about finding another car, and called a local dealership I'd been referred to. They'd just gotten a car on the lot, hadn't even had it checked out or cleaned up yet. If I wanted to buy it, they would give me a significant discount. It was a blue Mitsubishi with an automatic transmission and a sun-roof! I went down to the lot, did a test-drive and within an hour had put down a deposit on her, with the final purchase depending on the mechanic's evaluation.

She needed some repairs; they were open and honest about it and what it would cost. Even with the repairs, it was less than the amount they would have sold her for. I went in and wrote out a check and she went into the hospital. Three days later, I drove her home.

The rest, as they say, is history. My dream has come true. I saw myself tooling around the roads of Kauai in my own little car and now I'm doing it. Enjoy your brownie, and while you're eating it, celebrate the idea that the world is what we think it is.

palm isle
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