Here’s why.

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Photo by Luke McKeown on Unsplash

When we bought our house on the Big Island of Hawaii, almost four years ago, our only regret was that it was the most expensive in the neighborhood. Buying at the peak of anything doesn’t bode well for future hopes of making a profit. Not that we had any intentions of leaving the island in a hurry.

Coronavirus hit last March, and with it came a collective shudder for homeowners, businessmen, and anybody living paycheck to paycheck. …

Stifling stress before it swallows you whole.

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Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

2020 gave us anything but dull screens to pass the time. Each new day held powerful reminders about the fragility of life and repeated warnings to heed the present. And while sterility is what none of us want from our limited time under the sun, our expectancies turn to disappointments if our moments become interrupted by glimpses of death or contradictions to placidity. Yet we are always faced with the obvious: our world is wild, the natural and man-made. Our efforts to control or tame the globe are scratchings at a sore until blood. …

The joy is in the journey.

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Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I began 2020 with a simple mission: write a novel. I settled on a manageable word count per day (250) and started a story that had long been brewing under the surface. I’m a short-term goals oriented type of person. It’s difficult for me to stay with projects, ideas, or pursuits that span over months. I like to get things done immediately, then move onto the next task. Writing a novel wasn’t only out of my comfort zone; it was out of my universe.

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that…

There is purpose in everything.

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Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

I began my tennis career as a five-year-old banging old balls against my garage door. My court was an uneven driveway steep as the learning curve the sport requires. One whiff and the ball would tumble into the street, nine out of ten times, swallowed by the sewage system, disappearing into piles of human waste.

I stopped and started the game like many young kids unsure of athletic destiny. But by twelve, I’d resolved to play at Wimbledon, putting course to whatever effort that direction required of me. The following six years were the most disciplined of my life. …

You owe it to yourself.

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Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

It’s no overreaction to attribute stress to be one of the leading causes of addiction, depression, and unhappiness. We worry as much as we breathe, often about things that end up being sand blown in the wind. Our schedules run like overnight machines, turned off only for oil changes or quarterly maintenance. We don’t know where the kill switch is. Instead, our searching for relief turns to a desire to accomplish more in hopes the load will lighten or vanish with every crossed line on our never-disappearing lists.

If 2020 has given us anything, it has provided for us the gift of revelation. We are in desperate need of reducing the stress in our lives. …

Truths I may have never learned otherwise.

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Photo by Rolands Varsbergs on Unsplash

I’ve had an ocean view for the last eight years. When my wife completed her degree, we left a cold Minnesota for the lure of the Pacific islands. We’ve been here ever since.

It’d be misleading to call our life in these parts picture-perfect or worthy of a continual happiness pump coursing through unmarred veins. But every passing day continues to be an opportunity to learn and re-learn a simple, beautiful way of living.

The Sun Is a Ball of Energy

There’s a saying in Africa, the continent of my birth,

“The sun does not forget a village just because it is small.”

My family and I wake with the light rising behind the mountain, kept hidden until neighborhood chickens beckon the day to begin. It is the rhythm of daylight that is the compass for our sailing. We play outside, on the beach, or in the ocean because the warmth of the burning fire in the sky is an invitation to open the curtains, switch off the TV, and be alive. …

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

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Photo by Harry Grout on Unsplash

I grew up with two maids, Doris and Violet. My earliest memory of helping around the house was telling Doris which cupboard to put my clothing into or what I wanted for breakfast the following morning. I’m not proud of it, but grateful, in the sense that my family was affluent enough to afford such privileged living. In South Africa, two maids, a garden boy, and a driver are somewhat staples for a middle-class white family. The disparity of wealth instituted by apartheid brought a monster of inequality. …

Fortune favors the brave.

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Photo by Jorge Salvador on Unsplash

My wife and I are financially conservative. We like to think of our monetary perspective as good old fashioned common sense. We only spend what we have, pay off credit cards to zero every two weeks, and steadily contribute to a savings account. We’ve followed traditional wisdom perhaps to a fault for the last ten years, taking no risks, wholly committed, and prepared for retiring at sixty-five.

Recently, I’ve grown increasingly more interested in the stock market. It’s the gambler in me drawn to the idea of making money for nothing. So I bought a “Trading for Dummies” book about a year ago and started devouring it only to set it aside halfway through after listening to some big-time financial friends warning me to stay away. …

A must visit if you’re traveling in the Western Cape.

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Photo by Stephan Louis on Unsplash

Natures Valley is a paradise resting on the foot of the Groot River Pass in the Western Cape of South Africa. The river ends it’s restless wandering from its mountain source under a little stone bridge. Then water swirls around boulders prominent and sharp. Like a black leather belt on blue jeans, the dark flow continues its course, circling a grassy island before vanishing into a violent sea.

The ocean is always losing itself across golden stretches of sand that are firmed by salt. …

Life is short, treasure today.

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Cody was the star wide-receiver for my college football team. In the summer of our junior year, we trained together. I could move well because I played tennis, so the football coach invited me to their field workouts. Noon in Kentucky in August is a beehive of heat. Before our warm-up lap, sweat was dripping from our heads like we were leaky ice-coolers. Cody was a horse: long legs, tight stomach, and cartoon-etched veins over every muscle.

“You ready to sprint, mate?”

His bright smile was inviting and posed a challenge that neither one of us was willing to lose.

“You bet.” …


Luke Beling

I’m a husband and father, adventurer, and a writer who finds joy in every day stories. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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