It had been years since I had laid eyes on the beach that I had first claimed as my own as a child. I remember it well, my parents had used their flight miles for the first time to a vacation on Maui and I was running barefoot in the white sand just next to the HIlton Rainbow Towers hotel. I took a few pictures for postcards to send school friends back home.
It was this vision of Waikiki beach that plays back every time I missed our yearly vacation in Hawaii during the cold of winter, the dewy leaves of spring, and crispy foliage of the fall. Hawaii had never changed. Every time we were transported back to the island, I still found the white sand waiting, the palest blue water, the volcano in the distance that sometimes steamed in the middle of the day. It was there that I found my first lava rock when I was about eight. I dove for seashells every time I went swimming and came back with enough to fill a shoe box that sat under the coffee table at my grandma’s house for years. It was here that I dreamed about getting married if I could. Walking that white sand and staring out into the water as my dress dragged through the beach.
My fiance had never been to most places in America, let alone the islands so I took to planning the most perfect vacation just the way it had always been when I was a small child through teenager. I booked the same hotel, planned the same basic outings to let him climb a volcano and wander aimlessly though the rain forest. As an adult we had so much more option to check out the nightlife of the bars on the beach and wander through town after nightfall.
I planned to have him take in ever detail of the vacation he saw over and over again in aged photographs in the various albums collected around my mother’s house. I knew he had said before that as a Native, he felt a kinship to the Aboriginal people of the islands and greatly admired other tribes way of life.
I remembered how I took pictures after every afternoon rain shower that lasted no longer than ten minutes at a time before the sun would peek out again making everything outside steamy and a rainbow, sometimes a double, would creep into the sky from the west and stretch across the beach. I pictured myself and my boyfriend standing outside in the brief but warm rain storm kissing, watching the rain drops snake down his arms leaving slight glittering trails on his russet skin. Then the rainbow would come and spread over us with a pink glow and we would laugh and demand some time to go play in the sand on the beach.
It was for this reason I had to go back now.
It had been far too long since I had been away from my home away from home. Now that I have someone to share my favorite beach with I was coming back to make new memories finer than anything I recalled as a child.