Siku njema huonekana asubuhi, a Swahili saying, literally translated- a good day can be seen in the morning. Recent experience tells me the same is true for, well, strange days.
We were sleeping soundly, having spent the afternoon at Lydgate Beach, Kauai. It is a beautiful beach with a baby-friendly shallow section cordoned off, and a nearby deeper section for adults.

And so it passed that while we were in the midst of sunny dreams, a piercing crow shook us out our slumber. Now, I am no stranger to the wake up call of a rooster. I grew up in a small town, so I am quite familiar with nature’s feathered alarm clock.  However, I haven’t heard a rooster crow in over 10 years, and I certainly was not expecting to hear one at the ungodly hour of 4 am while vacationing in Hawaii.

A few year back while vacationing on Maui, I learned about the Chicken Gone Wild (CGW). Sounds like the Real Housewives Franchise, doesn’t it? Local lore has it that the CGW were previously domesticated, but, when nature struck in the form of a couple of hurricanes, the CGW fled their coops and have roamed free since. These chickens put the ‘road’ in Road Runner. Free range chicken ain’t got nothin’ on these CGW. Our tour guide informed us that due to the CGW’s toned muscles, the recipe for cooking them is simple. Find a rock, drop it in the pot with the CGW. When the rock is fully cooked and soft enough to chew, your CGW is ready. Bon Apetit!

Later that evening, we signed up for a gong yoga class. I was curious about the gong, and so my MIL, SIL and husband drove over to the local community center for the class. We were welcomed by our instructor Diane, a petite lady dressed in all white. She pointed us to our yoga mats on the floor and we walked into the room of approximately twenty participants. Diane explained that we would be meditating to the sound of crystal singing bowls and then she would play the gong. She informed us that Kundalini warriors played the gong to obtain clarity of mind before going to war.

Crystal singing bowls are hard to describe. They are very calming, and soon the darkened room was silent, each of us focusing on our breathing and calming our thoughts. As it turned out, some of us were more relaxed than others, so much so that a few of the participants fell soundly asleep and began to snore. The instructor calmly asked everyone to be considerate and keep the train-like snoring down, to enable everyone’s mind to achieve a zen like state.

Alas, there was to be no zen-ness in that room. As Diane played the gong, the snorer struck again, and soon the room was filled with his guttural snore. I looked over at my SIL Claire, and we shared a frustrated look, but, determined to find our inner zen, went back to meditating.

What happened next cannot really be put into words, but I will try. You see, we had expected the gong to provide clarity of mind. But clearly, one participant had reached the next level of enlightenment and achieved clarity of the digestive system. I was trying to calm my thoughts when I heard what sounded like a tear, or a rip. Actually maybe it sounded more like a series of pop pop pop sounds. Like the unshackled Chicken Gone Wild, this farticipant (so named by my FIL), moved by the ancient gong, let loose, and so here we were, trapped in a small room, with the Usain Bolt of farting, trying really hard to stay zen. I couldn’t hold my laughter in anymore. Tears streamed down my face as the instructor chose that moment to ask us if “anyone experienced something they didn’t expect”. While I was processing that, she added, ” Would anyone would like to feel like this for six days”. With the snorer on one side and the farticipant on the other, the timing of her marketing plug couldn’t have been worse. I chose not to pay to have a repeat of that experience. Thank you Mother Nature. Oooooooom.

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