Into Something Better: Kipahulu, Hawaii – August 2017

Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver


I thought the earth remembered me,

She took me back so tenderly

Arranging her skirts

Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before

A stone on the riverbed,

Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,

But my thoughts.

And they floated light as moths

Among branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

Breathing around me.

The insects and the birds

Who do their work in darkness.

All night I rose and fell,

As if water, grappling with luminous doom.

By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times

Into something better.


“We as a group of artist mothers from all over the world are making it our priority to turn off the tv/video games so that we can give our children the sacred experience to connect with he fast disappearing natural world. We will freelens our adventures into the wild and share them through this monthly project.”


I am beyond excited to join this blog circle project alongside this group of inspiring women from around the world, many of whom I’ve been following on Instagram and admire as both artists and mothers. Raising Kate to love the land and ocean we call home is so close to my heart, and freelensing fills my soul, feeds the artist in me and keeps me inspired when “regular” photography fails me.


Our first adventure for this project took us on a hike up Pipiwai trail to Waimoku Falls in the Haleakalā National Park near Hana. I started out with Kate on my back in the Tula carrier, but soon enough she wanted nothing to do with that, and ended up hiking most of the 1.8 miles trail up on her own two feet, greeting people, running, laughing and oohing and aahing along the way. The bamboo forest and its sounds especially impressed her, as did any body of water (no surprise there), and her reaction to seeing the waterfall was a big “WOW!”. I only wish we had more time to play in the creek at the top, Kate really wanted to stay a while and explore it, but the sun waits for nobody. Next time – I have a feeling we’ll be back.


Please visit Sherri Davis in Ontario, Canada next – you can see her lovely sailing adventure here and then continue following the circle to see more beauty around the world.


  • What an excellent addition you are to our little group, Barb! These images are gorgeous and filled with wonder and beauty. Kate is such a lucky little girl. As you know, Hawaii holds a special place in my heart and I look forward to seeing your contributions each month and living vicariously through them. Thank you for inspiring me!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Kate! I'm so honored to be part of this group and look forward to being inspired by everyone, especially your always amazing photos of Switzerland. I love how you see my childhood home! It's so neat that we can inspire each other with the special places in our hearts :)

  • Pingback : Into Something Better – Apples, Switzerland August 2017 » Kate Cuénoud Photography

  • Nadia said:

    Very happy you joined our little circle you are a beautiful addition. I need to go to Hawaii ... That looks so beautiful! And your daughter is so cute ( my daughter ask me to buy the same pink t-shirt :) )
    Beautiful work!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you Nadia it's an honor to have joined this beautiful circle. Yes, come to Hawaii! Your water loving daughter would love it here!

  • Nikki said:

    totally captivated by the cutest pigtails and feet ever! All mixed with splashes of vibrant pink and the lushness of a dreamy Hawaiian backdrop! I truly cannot wait for your next adventure XOX

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Nikki! I admit I'm very fond of the little pigtails and feet myself :)

  • Joni said:

    So glad you joined us! What a doll - she is so sweet and your shots of her are just magical.

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much Joni, it's an honor to have joined this inspiring, magical project!

  • Cindy said:

    I love how you captured how little she is in this big world. Beautiful

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much Cindy - I love to watch her explore the big wide world.

  • Sherri said:

    I am so happy you have joined us!!!! Bamboo forests and waterfalls! I think I need to move to Hawaii!!!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you Sherri! I am so happy to have joined. Yes come to Hawaii, I bet you would love it!