I'll never forget the first time I saw the ocean on the North Shore. Aly picked me up at the airport in the bright blue PT Cruiser we had rented for the week and we headed straight to Haleiwa. We climbed up through Wahiawa and began our descent through the arid pineapple fields, and there it was: a blue sea that stretched on forever. Good thing she was driving. My eyes were stuck. It would be another two hours until we actually got in the water, but my soul had already jumped in right then and there.
Hawaii has a way of taking your breath away at that first glimpse and then holding you in a warm embrace. And no matter how many times you see it, the feeling you get when you see the ocean is the exact same as the first time you saw it.
Back when I lived in Waialua and could walk to the beach, I'd go just about every day. I knew exactly what to expect in that little slice of paradise, but each time I strolled down the path and reached the open sand, the sight of the water made me stop. It still does.
Today I went to the annual Art Festival in Haleiwa, where the better known artists of the North Shore gather to display their work. I went straight to the booth of my favorite artist, Heather Brown. To me, her paintings depict the North Shore exactly how I see it: bright and colorful, with a unique style and many different layers. But more importantly, most of her paintings capture that moment when you step out onto the sand and get that first glimpse of the ocean, the one that makes you stop in your tracks and stare in awe.
The sand wraps around your toes, the trade winds kiss your cheeks, and the ocean welcomes you home.
Painting by Heather Brown
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.