It was 25 feet down to the Pacific Ocean. My heart was about to pump out of my chest as I looked over the edge of the slippery rock. “Jump! You can do it.” yelled the German who had already made the leap.
I was far away from home. Further than you could possibly be. My Love Interest and I had flown out to the Big Island of Hawaii where my sister was getting married. The flight was long and arduous, but we landed in an airport like I’d never seen. The Kona airport was nonexistent, at least in the way we are used to airports. They attached a stairwell to the door of the plane and you walked out to the bag claim carousel past the gift shop, all of which were exposed to the balmy air. This airport had no walls.
On the ride to the hotel the streets were dark. Stifled by jetlag we could not yet see Hawaii for what it was. The next morning when the sun came out, we could. Without even knowing it we were right on the Pacific Ocean. We could see all the way down to the depths of the turquoise sea floor. Rocks of lava bordered the coast. If you were patient and waited for a big wave to crash into the rocks you were rewarded with a rainbow. It was on just such a beach in the North of Kona on Thanksgiving where my sister and her groom were married. The sun was setting and the waves though small made a roaring noise. We sat in the chairs as the Rabbi performed the ceremony. It was exclusive company. Only the bride and groom’s immediate families were there. But the Rabbi was soft spoken so I could not hear all of his words. I trust all the proper words were spoken by all parties because eventually there was a kiss.
We feasted on mai tai’s and plates and plates of food. My belly grew past the elasticity of my pants. I undid a button, but if I would have eaten one more course the lei over my neck would have been in a horizontal position.
The next day we drove around most of the big island in order to get to Volcano National Park. There we could see many craters and the smoke of a volcano spewing in a great fume toward the sky. The crater with jungle ferns surrounding it reminded me of the Savage Land from X-men comic books, a hidden cove in the world where dinosaurs still roamed. The other pop culture reference that kept spinning in my head was from the television show Lost. I could see how the Hawaiian islands inspired the fantastic and mysterious elements of the show.
My sister, brother, and brother-in-law did a helicopter ride around the island. From their vantage points they could see the red magma that we were unable to see from the car. I spent the time in the snorkel pool. A salt water pool infused by frigid spring water that housed hundreds and hundreds of tropical fish including an eagle ray which looked like a stealth bomber crossed with a penguin. He kept hovering around and around the bottom of the pool looking for a way out trapped in an island of water.