I lived in Hawaii from 1983-86 when my ex-husband was stationed there with the Navy. My kids and I routinely hiked to Sacred Falls. I will never forget climbing up and over thick branches and tree trunks to follow the narrow trail that slivered between sky-high cliffs. They cast shadows on the fruit-laden guava and mango trees we picked freely from to snack on their luscious fruit along our way. We truly felt like we were strolling through the Garden of Eden, the world in its perfect creation, untouched by any corrupting factors. And from the shadowed, narrow path the ground expanded and the sunlight once again shone down upon us revealing the crashing waters from a breathtaking waterfall pouring from what seemed like the sky into the pure, cold, deep pool. It was bordered with large boulders from where we approached but turned into a smooth, wet path around the pool. We would eagerly jump into it, basking in its cool and refreshing water after the hot and humid trek to this magical spot.
Decades later I went back with my husband and learned that the trail had been closed to the public following a tragic Mother’s Day incident in 1999. I wish I had taken more pictures of those wonderful hikes to the falls while I could have. I’ve never been much of a shutterbug, believing that the best photos are those in our memories. I’ve come to regret that attitude as I would give anything to have those precious images tangibly before me now.