Only a few days of summer left, so we head out to the beach for a relaxing afternoon. My daughter brings a friend, and they head down to the other end of the beach to Black Rock. Black Rock is at the north end of KaanapaIi beach, where you can jump off a rock formation into the ocean. My boys prefer the south end at an area called the Point. This is a popular spot for surfing and boogie boarding. The waves are too high for me to float in the water, so I sit in my chair, put on my headphones, and relax to some music as I watch my boys play in the water. My older son, Will, is a little more experienced and paddles out by the surfers to “catch some waves” on his boogie board. My little guy, Colton, decides to stay near and skim in the waves as they come up the beach. I watch a woman walk by, an obvious tourist. She walks down the beach, with her head down. I see pink splotches on her legs and back where she missed putting sunscreen days before. I think to myself, she needs to pull back her shoulders, and walk with confidence!! I glance at the water as a fairly big wave is coming in. An older woman with a strapless top gets hit by the wave, and comes up out of the water, with her top out of place. She quickly pulls the top back up, and looks around embarrassed. She seems to sigh of relief as she thinks no one saw what happened. I giggle to myself, but keep her secret.
I watch my little guy as he plays in the waves. There are some older boys skimming near us. He watches them and tries to do what they do. I look farther down the beach, and see a man wearing white socks pulled up over his knees. I think to myself how those must be special socks to protect his skin. As he comes closer, I take a double take. Those aren’t socks! Those are his legs, whiter than a sheet! Once again I giggle to myself.
Farther down the beach, a man is walking, enjoying the scenery and doesn’t see a boogie boarder riding a wave in. The boogie boarder glides up the beach right in front of him, and he falls over. He lands right on top of the guys legs and rolls in the water. He slowly gets control of himself and gets back up. He laughs and keeps walking, probably telling others around him, “I meant to do that.” I started laughing and wished I had gotten that on video!
I’m still listening to my music, and thinking how wonderful it is to live in a place where I can enjoy the beach with my kids. My sweet little boy is still playing. One of the older local boys says something to him, and he smiles. (Local is a term used for people that were born and raised here). He runs to skim another wave. I focus on the local boy. He looks about 17 years old. He doesn’t look familiar to me. I watch him run and do a flip into the ocean. He comes out of the water, and again I see him say something to my son. Colton runs to catch a wave and ride it in. The local boys cheers as my son takes a good ride. I begin to tear up. I realize that this teen boy could have been irritated that my little guy was “in his way”. He could have tried to take the waves and not let my son play. But, this is Maui. He was encouraging my son, cheering him on. I fought back the tears. Willy isn’t here to show our son how to surf, or to skim. But here in this local community, a stranger, a teenage boy, stepped in to fill that void. He touched my son’s life for a moment in time. If only for an hour, he touched my soul. This is why I stay on Maui. This is the local community I love! I didn’t talk to the young man, but I want to thank him. Thank him for sharing Aloha to a young local boy who lost his dad.