diamond in the red
i landed in maui with open eyes and a receptive heart, ready to take in every ounce of magic the island could spare. since that moment i have been trying to make sense of all the wonder i saw. of everything i ate. of the textures and colors of the island.
my senses are on overloaded. smells, sounds, and memories rush to the forefront of my brain, sticking around for only a fleeting moment before a fragment of some other wonder pushes it aside, demanding to be remembered.
i am desperate to keep the vignettes in place. to stop them from shrinking or slipping to that faraway corner of my brain reserved for locker combinations and phone numbers of ex boyfriends.
incomparable beauty spills over the edges of the island. treasure can be found around every bend. hike open to a rushing waterfalls. jet black boulders circle to form pools of deep blue water. forests are composed of towering bamboo. blood red flowers sprout from the earth.
to reach the secluded red sand beach in hana we hiked a steep and somewhat dangerous cliff. a quick look down had my stomach jumping up my throat and back down through my butt. then we noticed several baby steps carved into the rocky path.
at the close of the hike i flew off the rocks, my feet thirsty for brick colored sand. i shimmied out of my dress, kicked my sandals to the side, and dove into the cool crystal water. rainbow fish darted between my legs.
while i swam my friend struck up a conversation with a local relaxing in the shade. the veteran returned home after serving in iraq and decided to ride his bicycle from denver to seattle and then zipped straight down the pacific coast highway where he found himself inside the belly of chaos that is panama. the swarms of people, oppressive heat, and incessant noise were more than he could bear. for $150 he boarded a plane to maui and never looked back. after witnessing nearly twenty people become seriously injured on their descent down the cliffs to the red sand beach his mission became clear. he carved steps into the rocky pass and works daily to maintain a path to the beach.
the man kicked over sand as he spoke. with mangled toes he sifted until he found what he was looking for. he bent over and brought a tiny diamond up between his fingers. he explained the red sand beach is filled with slivers of the treasure.
as i raked my hands through the course sand, i too unearthed the smallest, prettiest diamond and fell head over feet in love with maui.