I first visited Hawaii (Oahu and Maui) in the early 1980s. The islands retained some of the glorious beauty of their pre-American life. I remember the mountains in Oahu. They are not tall. They are smooth, green, with deep ridges. It’s like the Hawaiian goddess Pele drew her fingers over a soft matter at the moment of creation.
Nevertheless, the wounds of foreign occupation and forcible conversion to Christianity and American culture were everywhere. The remnants of Hawaiian life were tucked into the impenetrable Bishop Museum. Only fragments of the natural world survive.
Hawaii is now primarily a vacation destination for Japanese and mainland Americans. Indigenous Hawai’ians have been in hiding, intermarrying with Japanese and Polynesians. For the most part, they are invisible.
My second visit to Oahu took place in early April 2019.
I walked daily to the miles-long beach of Kailua. I walked without shoes on the sand at the edge of the thundering water splashing the beach and my naked feet.
That walk was a taste of heavens on Earth. The infinite grains of sand under your feet are moving with the ceaseless and countless waves from the ocean to the land. The closer to the water, the softer the sugar-like beach becomes.
The overall experience – the usually blue sky and restless blue…