Hawaii, days 13 and 14: Quiet hope in rainbows

Late on the afternoon of Saturday, December 11, Art and I drove Elizabeth into Honolulu. She was taking a redeye back to Raleigh.

As we made our way out of Waialua, the sun was starting to set behind us. By the time we transitioned to the interstate, we started to see more signs of Christmas lighting along the way.

I suspect Art could make this drive blindfolded to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. However, unless it is the dead of night, navigating into the departing and arrival terminals is always tricky.

We make it to the curbside for American Airlines. There is a scramble to help with the luggage, and one final inspection to make sure Elizabeth has the essentials for clearing the check-in and COVID protocol requirements. With hugs of thanks and love, she is off into that human airport chaos.

On the ride back to sleepy Waialua, Art and I solve all the world’s problems. At the very least, we had lots of recommendations.

Sunday, December 12 was quiet.

We took a brief neighborhood walk.

Then about mid-morning, we made the short drive to the Sugar Mill Shops.

At one time, harvesting sugar cane was part of the Hawaiian agriculture economy. These shops are framed into the remnant buildings from the Sugar Mill. A coffee maker, soap maker, surf shop, and in the main building a shop like a general store that is a good place to make purchases for the folks back home.

Of course, we had some beach time, and later in the afternoon we drove to the Beach House restaurant in Haleiwa for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The Beach House sits across the street from Alii Beach giving guests good sight lines for Hawaiian sunsets.

Sunset from Alii Beach photo Bill Pike

Early on the morning of December 13, I went for a run on the bike path. This path is going to spoil me. First, it’s flat, no hills. Second, I’m running in a t-shirt and shorts.

When we return to Richmond, I’m fairly certain for my neighborhood runs, I will not be in a t-shirt and shorts. Those just about perfect Hawaiian mornings will be canceled out by cold north winds and a layer of frost.

After the run, Art was setting up a couple of surf rods on the beach.

At different times over the last couple of days, I had been casting a lure into the pretty Pacific water. But, I had no luck. In fact one day I had been unlucky. I lost one of Parker’s lures after getting hung up on a rock or an immoveable piece of coral.

This morning, Art set up two rods with pieces of octopus for bait. This set up was to be a new experience for me. Clipped to each rod was a small stainless steel bell.

Shaped like a cowbell, the intent here is that the bell will ring when a fish is on the line. This set up allows the fisherman to relax on shore waiting for a jingling bell to sound.

Two hopeful fishermen, note bell on rod behind my left shoulder Photo Betsy Pike

The octopus is a tough textured bait. No crab or fish is going to easily pull the octopus off of the hook. Art perfectly cast both lines well out into the surf. He set the rods into two sand spikes, and like all good fishermen we impatiently waited.

Once, we were teased. A gust of wind caused one of the bells to jingle. Just in case, Art reeled in the line and checked the bait—it was still snug on the hook. He recast the line, and though we were hopeful, neither bell jingled anymore that morning.

With those two baited lines still out in the calm surf, I continued to cast a lure.

Once as I reeled the lure into shore, I sliced through a school of small minnows. The quick moving lure must have startled them because their frightened leaps broke the surface of the water and they sparkled in the morning sunlight.

Later, a bigger, more curious minnow followed the lure into the clear shallows near the shoreline.

Who knows maybe someday, I’ll return to this beach front, and that same minnow will be here.

That now full size fish might look to the shoreline, and think—“I’ll be darned, it’s that old geezer from Virginia again. I think I’ll do a couple of big jumps and flips just to get his heart rate up.”

And that fish is right. My old eyes will catch the jumps and flips. I will silently chuckle at this teasing acrobatic show, a performance I’ve seen before on Cape Cod, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Outer Banks, Sanibel, and the Eastern Sierras.

But, it is a show my heart adores because in that spectacle is hope.

I hope to catch a fish. The fish hopes not to be caught.

And maybe, that is what the fish and I have learned about hope.

Hope gives us the capacity to hold on a little longer and endure.

And perhaps, that is why heavenly angels quietly construct rainbows—to give us hope and endurance.

Lord knows— we need it.

One of the many rainbows we saw during our visit. Photo Bill Pike

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