I live on a volcanic rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii, and I cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else.
I came to the Big Island for the first time in 1984 when Kilauea’s Pu’u O’o vent was spewing fountains of red-orange lava, and Kaimu’s black sand beach was still rife with swaybacked coconut palms. Captivated, my husband Don and I vowed to live here some day.
One night in 1991 found us sitting on a rise above Kaimu Beach. The full moon formed a path across the ocean, and high surf boomed into the shore. Hot lava streamed over the embankment, hissing as it cascaded into the water, creating steam clouds. Sea water cooled the lava and turned it into rock. We watched fire, wind, water, and earth battle it out, simultaneousy destroying the palm-fringed beach and creating new land.
We love sitting on the lanai across the front of our house, breathing in the redolence of plumeria, watching spinner dolphins dance across the surface of the waves, witnessing humpbacks breaching, throwing their huge bodies completely out of the water. We enjoy the kaleidoscopic patterns the clouds form as they gather over the mountains and scud across the sky toward the sea. We look forward every evening to sitting together, watching the sunset, and more often than you would imagine, witnessing a green flash. And then the star show begins. There’s a reason why Mauna Kea is a premiere astronomy site.
Hawaii Island is a mini-continent filled with an astonishing diversity of climates, scenery, flora, fauna, and people. Only one degree of separation exists between islanders.
When we moved here, people feared we would suffer from “island fever.” Not a chance.