Marveling at Makapu’u

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The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. One of about a million…no, literally…hikes on the island of Oahu. The trail isn’t exceptionally long or arduous and begins with a gentle slope toward the coastline. Along the path I encountered individuals and couples as well as families and groups of friends walking, running, and strolling, enjoying the views of Koko Head and Koko Crater in the distance as well as the beautiful sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean. My walk was made even more special with the appearance of a few humpback whales which mate, calve, and nurse in these waters during the winter months. Although I did miss a full breach by mere seconds, there’s nothing like the sound and sight of a giant humpback hitting the water!

My stroll was meant to be an easy one, starting early in the day to avoid taking the walk in the heat of the sun. For me, nature is the best place to have quiet time with myself and also the easiest time for me to think and talk to God. I find the most peace while in nature admiring His handiwork. And that’s exactly what I did as I walked and contemplated, stopping along the path for photos of flora and moments to marvel at the breathtaking beauty all around.
The gentle hike ends at a high point encircled by a fence on which individuals have placed locks and notes announcing their presence in this place. From there I enjoyed views of the Makapu’u Lighthouse as well as the tiny islets off the windward side of Oahu. It is said that Moloka’i and Lana’i can been seen in the distance when the sky is clear. Perhaps I unknowingly saw the slope of their shores on the horizon.

I had heard talk of another “path” that lead down to the Makapu’u Tide Pools created by the ocean crashing over the boulders and I went looking for that path as I walked from the lookout point back towards the point where the trail started. About halfway back I noticed a few people looking away from the paved trail down a rocky cliff. I followed their gaze and saw a few people making their way down the rocks. Found it!!! I saw a couple with an energetic child slowly conquering the climb downward and I thought to myself “…if the kid can do it, so can I”. I stepped off the paved trail and started making my way down the cliff toward the ocean. Sometimes the way was a little slippery and sometimes I had to make a jump from a boulder to the ground below. There was a moment when I wondered (slightly worried) how I was going to get back up. In that moment I looked up and saw chalked arrows directing the way back to where I’d started. Isn’t that just like life sometimes? You take a small step in faith and hope, your way materializes as you go, and if you look up, help is available.

As I got closer and closer to the ocean I saw where small pools had been left behind by the mighty crashing waves. Tiny fish, crabs, and lizards darted from pool to pool and I saw several blowholes created by openings in the rocks and boulders. I was able to see, feel, and hear the power of the ocean as sea-salt air and ocean spray shot up at random moments. Although I did not have time to take a dip in the shallow swimming pools, being this close to those majestic waves was enough for me. I marveled at how a calm ocean in the distance could form such tempestuous waves against the bouldered shore which turned into calm pools on the other side. What a marvelous cycle!

And then I looked up and began the trek back to where I’d started. My leisurely stroll had turned into an adventure and a bit of a workout. But, oh! So worth it!

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