A very gentle rustle outside our open palm thatched hut made me turn towards the beach. As I peeked through our mosquito netting I could see Teyauna’s silhouette dancing in the early dawn. I wanted to get a little more sleep but as she tiptoed toward me and held out her arms for a hug I longed to join her . I scooted baby Zak over toward his sleeping daddy and crawled out from under the netting careful to retuck each corner. Teyauna had fallen asleep early last night just as a big moon was rising in the starry tropical sky. She explained that she was just checking each of our three fales to see if anyone was ready to wake up yet.
Hand in hand we wandered down the white sand beach. Little rivers of fresh spring water trickled down the sand mixing with the warm salty sea. Although the sun was still low on the horizon we could still make out tiny sea creatures scurrying cross the sand and tiny intricate shells left there as jewels half hidden in sand and coral. Being five our little girl is still delighted with anything pink and she was in raptures just watching the dark sky lighten into bright cotton candy pink. We had only arrived in Savaii the morning before by ferry. Because we had been invited by the Samoan Tourist office and been treated like royalty we did not sail our boat over. Teyauna was so thrilled to see that the sky was painted her favourite color but she was very curious to know how Jesus did that just for her without her even telling him where we were. She told me he follows our boat so that is how he normally paints her celestial skyscapes.
As waves lap up our double set of footprints I wondered if this magic would imprint on her soul even if physical memories of our journey here fade. I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for this small girl, this fairy child that sings and dances her way through our lives. Being the Sabbath we all dressed before a simple island breakfast was served with warm lemon balm tea. Our hosts accepted an invitation to church with us. There was a large chapel that looked well used over the years but when we began services there were only about fifteen or twenty other people present. As the first hymn began I checked the numbers again because it sounded more like a hundred singers. I smiled as I let the long ago memories of beautiful Samoan voices wash over me. Before the service began many more families slipped in and even a stray dog sauntered into to join our service. No one seemed to notice. Most those who came were wearing mismatched clothes and few had shoes. The peaceful feeling so was strong even though I understood none of the bishops remarks.
This weekend has been filled with caves and waterfalls, giant tropical blowholes and natural sliding rockslides. We have eaten cultural foods and learned native dances and been showed weaving, tattooing and all kinds of Samoan wonders. I feel the biggest blessing has just been watching my kids all splash and tease together. I cherish this journey.