Monday, October 14, 2013
Drawn Back to Laupahoehoe Point
One of our favorite places is Laupahoehoe Point Park, located on the northeast shore of the Big Island of Hawaii. Once a small town thrived here, but the ocean washed it away one fateful day in 1946. Now waves batter the crumbling harbor, and a memorial honors those claimed by the tsunami.
There's no beach to stroll along, no tranquil waters in which to bathe. Jagged chunks of lava rock guard this patch of flat coast along the otherwise steep cliffs. These black rocks shoot up through land and sea like dragons' teeth. Ocean waves crash against them, hurling spray into the air. The wind threatens to rip your hat off, and the spray dampens your face and clothes, chilling you when the clouds roll in. And yet...
Despite the wind and the spray, and despite the knowledge of all who died here, there's something imminently peaceful here too. The sheltering, protective rocks. The tall evergreens lining the shore. The crumbling harbor. The flowers adorning the memorial. Mother Nature has been cruel to Laupahoehoe. But she is also very real there. She lives, breathes, and inhabits those hallowed grounds, and we nestle within her embrace.
Perhaps that's why we return, every time we visit the Big Island.