Just a girl rambling around the globe and writing about it.

Musings from around the block and farther.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Diving Off Cliffs

Kendra and I like to joke that if there’s a cliff or a high point near a body of water, some Hawaiian is gonna jump off of it.  I was reminded of this before we left, when I watched “Twilight: New Moon” and the dark-skinned werewolf boys were diving off some crazy cliff in Forks.  Which is lame ‘coz it’s cold in Forks.  But in Maui, it’s warm and womb-like, a rush without the icy bite.

When we lived in Sherman Oaks, our pool was built close to the house and you could go upstairs, climb over the master bedroom balcony and onto the guest room addition, then jump off that roof into the 8-foot deep end.  Which we all did at one point or another, but Shane (that Hawaiian) turned it into an art form.  Not only did he do it, but it added a certain island flair to it: he’d crouch down a little, knees bent, then pop into the air, where it seemed to stand still for a moment, and he’d hurl himself toward the pool in a warrior stance, shoulders back, arms arched behind himself, knees bent, head facing stoically toward the water.  A third of the water would splash out and the ensuing waves would knock a small child down.  But it was thrilling to watch and we never knew exactly when he might choose to jump.  One minute, he’d be on the patio smoking a cigar with Raf and the next, Kendra would say, “Where’d Shane go?” and then we’d look up or hear a splash and we’d know.  He was feeling his roots.

The other day, at the Olivine Pools, he did the same thing.  It’s another steep climb, picking our way down a loose, rocky pathway to get to natural pools carved into the lava rock, eroded by centuries of crashing waves.  There are a few small pools, a scary blowhole geyser that spits water up at you if you get too close (but could pull you under in a split second, so you don’t dare to go near it) and a larger pool that is an icy teal color, almost phosphorescent from the bubbles that are formed when the waves crash into it.

By the time I had climbed my way down, Shane had already dived into that pool.  The daring members of our group impressed tourists by jumping in next to him: Maile, then me, then Keala, then Emme.  One wave crashed so hard into the pool that it swept Maile and Shane up into a bit of a whirlpool, which was both thrilling and scary to watch, and ended well with Maile laughing and swimming to the side of the rock where she got out and dried off. 

We decided to leave and started back across the rough lava rocks.  Someone said, “Where’d Shane go?” When we looked back, he was back on the top of the rocks.  In the blink of an eye, he crouched down and then was in the air, touching his feet before releasing into a perfect dive, deep into the water that is in his blood.

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