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Kauai Life – Heaven


Tide pools at dawn by Daniel Lane.

On Dec. 15, I met with the editor of The Garden Island newspaper because he was unhappy with my work. From the start, it was not a good fit. He wanted me to focus on advertisers, I wanted to focus on good food. Management at MidWeek Kauai knew my method worked. That’s why they transferred me to TGI in Jan. 2014. After listening to him complain I asked, “Do you feel that my columns add value to your paper?” His reply was swift and sure. The word “No” echoed in his office as I walked out the door. This was the nudge I needed to give Tasting Kauai my full attention. Since I left TGI, Dan has been encouraging me to share a taste of Kauai life.

Kauai’s sunrises and sunsets are a stirring inspiration for me to put down my fork. Every time I watch one, words like amazing, grace, splendor and glorious flood my mind. As I witness this gift from the universe, manifested in impossible beauty and given so freely, I am inspired to live my best life just because I can.

As Dan and I walk along the beach, radiant pinks and golds stretch across the horizon. Lucy, our 13-year-old cavalier King Charles Spaniel, forgets about her arthritic hip and charges breathlessly across the sand. Spike, the poi dog (mutt) we adopted from the Kauai Humane Society, prances like a pony and smiles like a hyena. I love having a dog who shows his boundless joy with a toothy grin. As he runs, he flamboyantly flicks his front wrists just before they hit the ground.

Dan waits for Lucy to leave the center of a tide pool. Marta Lane photo

Dan waits for Lucy to leave the center of a tide pool. Marta Lane photo

It’s twilight and the ocean is calm. Curls rise from the water and crash as they hit shore. Water spreads in a foamy rush and coils around my ankles. Ripples of dark blue swirl with light blue and orange highlights dance across the glassy surface. To my left, a glowing half moon hangs low in the lavender sky. Dan crouches behind a small pool near the shore and brings the camera to his eyes. The light must not be right. “I’ll get it on the way back,” he says while standing up and lowering his camera.

We stop at a lava flow filled with tide pools. The ocean shimmers beyond the black outcrop and splashes of waves lick its edges. Dan squats and presses a knee into the lava floor. Lucy loves the water, so as he lines up his shot, she wades in. Ripples radiate from her small body and disturb Dan’s shot. Spike creeps closer. I call out, “Spike! Lucy! This is a no-fly zone!” They scamper as I lean into a rock and soak up the solitude.

Dan lays on his side, propped on an elbow and waits for the sun. It looks uncomfortable, but like Lucy and her arthritic hip, he doesn’t care. The sun creeps from behind a cloud, reflects in the tide pools and Dan’s camera captures the brilliance. As the sun bathes my face in golden light, I close my eyes and feel heaven unfolding within.