One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is being outside with my children. We go on a lot of walks, and discover fun things to do in nature. We love the beaches. I could spend all day at the beach. Even the black, lava rock beaches on our side of the island are starting to grow on me. They seemed harsh at first, and so uninviting. It was funny to me when we first got here to see families sprawled out on the rocks for a day at the "beach". Towels, umbrellas, sunscreen, lunch boxes, and.....rocks.
One day when we first got here we were visiting a popular beach to swim, one that is surrounded by lava rocks, when one of my boys stubbed their toes again, on the rocks. I got so angry! "Get me off this stupid lava rock island!!," was all I could think. I wanted to yell and cry at someone! I felt homesick for the miles and miles of soft, white sand beaches I grew up with on Oahu.
But, we are learning to enjoy them. Our desire to be at the ocean is still strong, and our feet are toughening up nicely.
My Dad cheered me up on the phone when he reminded me,"There will be white, sandy beaches in Hilo, someday. All you have to do is wait 5 million years for the ocean to wear away at the rocks." Thanks eh, Dad.
This is the beach closest to our house. You can't actually swim here but we have fun exploring the rocks and tide pools.
Jonah fits right in amongst the black rocks, like a little Opihi shell. He sticks to the rocks naturally. In fact, one of our friends said to me, "Eh, he looks like one Rock boy!" I like that name. Just call him Rock Boy.
This was Kalapana beach, which used to be one of the most friendly and swim-able beaches on the island. It was home to a bustling, little fishing village, until it was covered by Kilauea lava flow in 1990. Now it is a lava field, with barely a beach to walk on.
It's a 2 hour drive to the other side of the island if you want to take refuge at sandy beaches. This past weekend we camped a night at Ho'okena, where we basked in the sand and sun all day long.
We are learning the names of the reef fish and ocean creatures. Odin snorkeled for his first time and was quite thrilled to spot a Yellow Tang! He talked about it all the way home. Zadok met some bigger boys on the beach who taught him the art of boogie-board body-sliding. He can't wait for us to go back 'to the other side' so he can do it some more.
I am really starting to feel at home here on this rock. Even though my welcoming, comfortable, and sandy beaches are far away, I am learning to love this land for what it is.
Hawaii has a rich and beautiful cultural heritage, one of which I am excited to learn more about.
Long before us hauoles came to live here, the Hawaiians built Kingdoms and societies amongst these rocks. Their whole livelihoods were based upon the natural developments around them, even the harsh rocky landscape had meaning and use to them. I am determined to appreciate it, too.