That’s Why It’s Called the Windward Side
We had a good-bye party for my friend Cathy today at Kailua Beach. I heard one of my friends, upon arriving, say to Cathy, “The last time I was at this beach, I was with you.” Hey, me too.
You know why that is? Because Kailua Beach sucks. There are only three kinds of people who love Kailua Beach: People who move to Hawaii from somewhere else, people who have grown up in Kailua, and people who own dogs who love the water.
Sure, it’s lovely to look at, and the tourist-resident ratio is decidedly in our favor, and the water seems especially clean (when the wastewater treatment plant is working okay), and there are lots of nice, friendly dogs cavorting in the surf. I’ll give Kailua that much. But you know what? It’s not worth it. It’s just too dang windy.
The wind. It blows constantly. The trades that keep us cool through most of the year, blowing in from the Northwest off the Pacific, up over the Ko`olau Mountains, across the populated valleys, and finally over the Waianae Mountains and down toward who-knows-where seem to originate right there, just a few hundred yards off the Kailua shoreline, whipping, fresh-faced and eager, right into that coast. Something about the mountains must mellow those winds out, because they don’t seem so insistent anywhere else. At Kailua, though, they are constant, and demanding, and just a gigantic distraction and pain in the rear. The whoosh in your ears caused by all that wind is never-ending, and it’s nothing like the peaceful, relaxing image we all have of lying on the warm, sandy beach.
For over eight hours I withstood that irritating wind. I don’t know how the trees out there can take it. If I were one of the ironwood pines out there, I’d pick up my roots and move to Waikiki. Sure, the neighborhood’s not as nice, but at least I wouldn’t be forever leaning, squinting, brushing hair from my eyes, and yelling to be heard all the time.
But then I’d be a tree, and I wouldn’t have hair, eyes, or a voice. I hate it when my metaphors do that.