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Love Stories of Hawaii

Special Occasion

Breathless
Dedicated to Roy Tabora

Submitted by Karen

I arrived in Lihue along with 9 other people on a warm and windy May afternoon, 1999. I had been invited to a wedding by a wedding guest. The details of this invitation being rather unfortunate, I was lucky to have been invited at all. It was an experience I would never have opted for had I known the group any more intimately, and one I would never turn down because of what I feel inside every time I hear the name Kauai. Most of the time there, I spent travelling alone in a rental car. Once, I was taken to Polihale Beach, and knew in an instant that heaven is real. The wedding over, parties finished, trip complete, I planned my next trip, solo, to Kaua'i in December. I met some phenomenal people my first two nights at a hostel in Kapaa, joined the 'caravan', and spent the next 2 weeks, rainy season and all, with them. We went to a little art gallery one day, and I fell in love with a painting on the wall. I went looking behind it to see the switch that turned it on and made it glow. I heard someone laugh, and I turned to find the shop owner with his arms crossed, chuckling, saying so many before me did that same thing, but it was no trick, no current, just the artist's handiwork that made that picture shine. I thought it was the most perfect rendition of a night sky above the ocean that I'd ever see. I was wrong. About both. We went back to camp at Polihale beach, and the next few days were just heaven. One night, I never did know what time it was as the nights seemed endless on that beach, I was up listening to the surf pounding the shore from a shared tent. Everyone was asleep except me, and that pounding was calling my name. I wanted to be part of the surf....the most powerful noise I have ever heard. I unzipped the tent, walked over a small rise, and was rendered breathless. What I saw was that painting on the wall in the little gallery come to life. The hairs on my arms stand up even as I write this now, and I can close my eyes, I have to close my eyes, and let it happen again! The sky and the sea were a dark and shimmery black-blue hue, the sand was a cool beige-grey, the trees behind me were colorless shapes, but that moon was liquid silver, and was mirrored by the surf and carried down the shore as it broke. I was alone, breathless, and completely at home, 5000 miles away. Paradise and love, alone in Hawaii, it was all mine.


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