This is a story about Kailani. A native inhabitant of Hawaii who has never really experienced the beauty of the island.
In a moment of curiously she is lead to an illusive beach named Painters Point. A place where the sea meets the sky...
The Sea and Sky
Today, seemingly no different than any other day, Kailani had found herself in a swarming centre packed with booths for selling and trading goods, instead of at the local supermarket. A local fisherman who was offering steak sized cuts of tuna greeted her with a rotting smile half hidden under his wilted bucket hat. When she asked where the fish had come from, told her that the fish had found sanctuary under the sea at the most beautiful place in the world. "Would you like to know where that is my child? The place where the sea and sky meet?" he asked her. She nodded, hypnotized by the old man's voice. The beach lay on the north side of the island, past the last paved road. He said to Kailani;"When you think you've gone too far, given up, and there aren't any trails left, that is when you'll find it."Kailani had thanked the bedraggled man and he waved her on northward.
That had happened hours ago. Kailani now sits behind the wheel of her geo tracker, trying to tune the radio to a station, any station. She gives up moments later, and leans back in her chair. She shuts her eyes, and pronounces every swear word she can think of, slowly. She opens her eyes again, as if her incantation will have magically filled up her gas tank, but it doesn't, and the level still reads empty. She fishes through her purse, searching for her cellphone. She opens the tiny screen to see the no signal symbol in the corner. She returns to her muttering. She looks at the road ahead of her, and gets out of her jeep. She makes note of a strangely shaped tree down the road, and walks towards it to get her mind off of the situation. 'That tree is as far as I'm going,' she thinks to herself. When she reaches the braided tree, she finds the trail the fisherman had been talking about. The last time she had checked (which could not have been more than an hour ago) it was just past noon. She runs back to her tracker, and removes from it her daypack, and her purse. She rolls up all the windows and locks the doors. Kailani then journey's back to trail, and looks down it. A deep feeling in her chest flickers as she wonders what she might find, and she starts walking.
Minutes into her adventure Kailani is assaulted by the redolence of the forest. Her head grows heavy as the pungent smells of mother nature try to pull Kailani into her arms. Kailani hikes onward, her head still misty with the smell of the forest, it has been too long. The trail is faint as she travels onward but there is just enough evidence for her to know what direction she must travel in. Around every twist or bend Kailani finds rare flowers endemic to the island. Pua Aloalo's peek at her like watching eyes, and the fragrance of the white Koki'o kea's nearly bring her to her knees. As she walks on she finds different groves blanketed with Hibisbus of every colour; adorning the heavy forest like a King might don swaths of gold jewelry. Banana trees lean over the minute trail, carrying enormous bunches of yellow fruit the size of which Kailani has never seen before in a supermarket. She reaches up and removes a single banana from the massive bunch, and swoons, as she tastes the fruit. Before she can walk further, she notices the Lilikoi trees lining the path onward. She smiles, and collects some of their tart fruit for later.
From there the path arches onto a large hill of jagged rocks. Kalani blesses her hiking boots, and pulls herself up the face of the hill. At the peak of every rock lies a gecko waiting for her. The first one scares her so genuinely that she topples right back over and rolls a few feet before hitting the bottom of the slope. She laughs, and reaches the top of the rock again. She greets the gecko by sticking her tongue out and climbing onward. As a child she was petrified of geckos, screaming whenever one wiggled close to her, but within this forest, her fear was at peace.
At the top of the hill the sky bursts into a span of capacious blue heaven. From there she can see the ocean, blue and green tipped precariously with white caps. The path was now obvious, drawn along the peak of the hill to the bottom like a heartbeat as read by a hospital monitor. The path is lined with the fan-like leaves of even more banana trees, bursting ferns, and low hanging palm trees. Kailani follows the path at a jogging pace; like a child running down a hill. Her feet moving more on instinct, finding footholds in impossibly short amounts of time. Her hands held at her side, palms open, fingers fanned, as if they were tiny parachutes helping Kailani balance against the slope. Her straight black hair whips out behind her, freeing itself of the constricting hair tie, and flying free. Her spirit opens from her chest, and for the first time, in a very long time, she remembers how the wind, the sun, and ocean feel. The faster she goes the more momentum she gains, and as she nears the bottom of the hill she contemplates how she is going to stop. She tries momentarily to slow her pace by digging her feet in, but her feet have a mind of their own and continue their haste.
The hairpin turns of the trail get harder to turn, and on the last one she finds herself pivoting on one foot, and somehow managing to keep her momentum and direction. As she aviates down the last stretch of the trail she sees the cliff that breaks into a million atoms of sea air before reaching the sea below. Her rocket-like impel now scares her as she gets closer and closer to the break in the trees. She tries to formulate a plan, devise a way to stop the force of her run. Instead, just as she breaks out from the tangle of tropical fauna, she impacts with something else moving. She only has a split second to look at the point of impact, but is greeted with a look of pure terror from a young man wearing nothing but a pair of swim trunks, and a backpack. She pummels him, nearly launching the poor man a few feet, and herself flying right past him an extra few feet more. They roll along the short grass, and come to a stop a few metres from the edge of the cliff.