There's some interesting things happening in the Puna area lately that has/will affect a lot of people in a lot of different ways. If Hurricane Iselle wasn't enough, Lava from Pu'u O'o that was once flowing into private [and mostly vacant] land is now going through Pahoa town. I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to see your house in the path of Pele and the lava flow. I grew up going to Pahoa for swim practice and passing through on the weekends en route to the beach. So you can imagine how this place has been a huge part of my younger life.
While I was back on the Big Island I made it a point to spend as much time in Pahoa and areas surrounding it. That included Pohoiki.. the place I learned to surf. I can still remember the first wave I caught when I finally felt like I got it. I could surf. Yeah. This place has been an intricate part in the way my life was shaped.
Now, with the flow about to run straight through the highway and head for the ocean.. everything is going to change. At first I was really bummed about it.. for obvious reasons. But a friend of mine pointed out that it could just be a blessing in disguise. You see, over the last couple years I've seen the beach change. The Pohoiki beach park was always a little rough around the edges back when I was growing up. Since then they've added a parking lot, bathroom, and gates that close at certain hours. Although these are all great improvements, I think I liked the rugged version of the beach a lot better. And so maybe the lava isolating this area is natures way of preserving such a beautiful, magical place.
Nevertheless. I am so happy I got to spend as much time as I did in the area. I didn't get to surf [because I am still nurturing my arm back to health] but I got to capture Pohoiki how I remember it. And that was enough for me. Who knows what will happen next.
Pohoiki.. that special place.