Friday, November 15, 2013

365 Inspirations—319: From the Top of Mauna Kea to the Depths of the Ocean at Kihena Beach

Full moon on top of Mauna Kea
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson

There's a full moon above me. Out here in the middle of the ocean, this moon glows like nothing I've ever seen. We were supposed to go to a night concert out at a sanctuary tonight, but we got lost on the winding roads. The moon was glistening over the ocean casting crystals everywhere. I had to pull over so we could stand up on a cliff and feel the roar of the waves smashing against the rocks. I can hear that roar from the room where I type this.

I swam in that ocean today at Kihena Beach, otherwise known as Black Sand Beach.

 The beach is black from volcanic rocks. The power of the ocean nearby can be felt even at a distance, but close up it shakes you. The undertow is strong. I braved it twice on this trip. I got hit by one big wave and then swam out as soon as the wave receded. I floated around out beyond where the waves were cresting and breaking. I was safe out there, the problem was coming back in. I had to swim fast as soon as there was a lull in the ginormous waves that were crashing the shore. I found my opportunity and took it. A wave was coming in just as I was running up the beach.

My husband was hit by a wave and lost his glasses. He struggled up out of the wave and made it to the beach and realized they were gone. He came over to me on the black sand and said,

"That wave took my glasses. I can't see."

Later a woman at lunch said she was happy that the wave only took Yoon's glasses. Apparently the waves out at this beach have claimed a number of lives. I swam out there with dolphins in March while we were on yoga retreat here, but the waves seemed quite tame at that time.

Yoon is now wearing my red retro glasses. Luckily we have a very similar prescription and I wear my contacts most of the time. People have noticed that he looks different and then he has to tell the story of what happened.

Not only is the ocean powerful here, but so are the mountains and the volcano, which is still very active. Lava is still spewing out and over the ocean cliffs here.

Yesterday, we decided to drive almost to the top of Mauna Kea, the highest peak in all of the Hawaiian Islands. There was a point when we had to stop because it required four-wheel drive. Instead of driving up to the tip top, we hiked up a small mountain which gave us a 360 view of the sunset, the full moon rise and the clouds below us. We were above the cloud line and could here a clap of thunder in the clouds below us. It was raining and storming down at sea level, but we were up above the clouds at  13,000 plus feet.

Here are some pictures from that day:

Do you prefer the mountains or the ocean? Have you been to both in one day?

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