before the rainstorm

chris_bluffs.jpg
Chris on the bluffs, Hana, Maui, Canon 300D

Sometimes I am fascinated by what a picture says and what it doesn’t say. The above photo is of my dear friend Chris Harrington. He is taking us on a tour of the bluffs across the street from his house in Hana and we are all speculating about the looming rain clouds. Will they pass us by? Should we turn around? Does it matter?

This picture doesn’t tell you what happened after the rainclouds, that within seconds we were caught in a dumping, soaking, torrential downpour. It doesn’t show us giddy, laughing, blinded by all the water, running back to the house. I haven’t jogged in about 15 years and I am winded but happy, holding my camera under my t-shirt that is getting more and more transparent. I feel like the cheesy dancing/crying/kissing-in-the-rain moments of Hollywood movies. For the first time in my life, I can see why the concept is so appealing and that it is actually plausible. (I had always thought of these scenes as complete fiction.)

This picture may not tell you that Chris is one of my dearest friends on Earth and that he is one of those people that creates life wherever he goes (he is a walking celebration) and is so wise that you may never know he is dispensing wisdom. This picture doesn’t tell you that at Burning Man a couple of years ago, Chris suddenly picked up my friend Sasha and walked with her in his arms saying, “Everyone needs a break once in a while…”

From this picture, you might not know that he is a Buddha in disguise.

*

If I showed you a picture of the waterfall we hiked to the next day, it would tell you a story of beauty, of magnificence, of magestic tropical awesomeness. You wouldn’t know what the photo didn’t tell. You wouldn’t know that we had lunch on a hill across from it, and that, only a few moments after the shot, we heard a cracking so loud that all of our breath immediately stopped. It was the unmistakable sound of the earth splitting open.

We looked up to see a cliff above us and an avalanche of rocks pouring down.

Panicked, I duck-and-covered (I am a California girl, what can I say? It’s all I know how to do) and prayed that we wouldn’t die… I felt Matt lay his body over me, protecting me. Then I heard him say, “We have to get down the hill fast!” and so we ran down the muddy slope, sliding much of the way (I have horrendous multi-colored bruises on my legs). When we were all down and safe, I immediately burst into tears.

Chris, who had fallen down the hill behind us, did a complete somersault and we almost lost him off the cliff (thank God I did not see this). We were all shaking as we hiked home, but in regular Chris Harrington fashion, he laughed the whole way back…

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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9 Comments

  1. Caroline

    Wonderful picture and story, as usual. I have to say I’m becoming increasingly jealous of you. How do you meet such amazing people?

  2. chlamygirl

    what a harrowing experience, i think i too would have laughed only to prevent the tears. i am glad to hear that apart from bruises, no one is hurt.

  3. Michele

    What a hair raising story, but beautiful at the same time! I truly am living vicariously thorough you girl!

  4. Julia

    What a close call you all had!!! I’m glad everyone is ok. Your friend Chris sounds like a true treasure. Thank you for sharing him, and more of your great words and pictures.

  5. BookGirl

    what an experience! as usual your stories are amazing.

  6. jenn

    what an amazing post andrea. chris sounds like a wonderful man. what a great way to honor him with this beautiful post.

  7. Erin

    How do you do it? Everything that happens to you sounds so poetic and miraculous- even things we may not want to happen. I try every day to do this, and reading your posts inspires me. thank you.

  8. angela

    andrea. this was the most beautiful thing one could read, on a day like today.
    there is magic, life, mystery, joy, fascination in every word and you spoke so many truths. sometimes i think that too is what most fascinates me about photography. the knowing, the not knowing. all the little stories entwined in a singular moment captured.
    diane arbus once said.
    “a photograph is a secret about a secret. the most it tells you, the less you know.”
    it’s one of those words, that have guided me most through photography.
    i am just so glad that you are back. reading your words and hearing of special moments.
    and just because every once and a while, every needs to know what they mean to someone…
    i adore you.
    oxo
    ang

  9. tim

    awesome story
    glad to hear you are all safe
    can we see photos of the bruises?
    (request from an injury prone adventurer)

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