Kaua’i offers basically two choices for ocean views:
Both are beautiful and breathtaking.
The office where I’ve been going for physical therapy has a view of the ocean out their big front windows. While the therapist works I watch waves break out on a reef in the distance, and then roll gently into the shore, which is just across the road from the office building. The color of the ocean transitions from deep blue to a lighter sea green and finally to a clear turquoise as the ocean gets near to the shore, where the waves break white.
Watching the waves the other day, I realized that I could never tire of seeing them. I love to watch them come in, whether at the beach, or crashing up against a cliff or onto a rocky shore. I marvel here at how the color changes as the ocean approaches the shore. Most of all though I enjoy the ever-changing movement, the constant reminder of the ocean’s power. The waves seem to be always sending a message: Respect me. It’s a fool who thinks they can do battle with the ocean and win.
The long distant views provide a calmer image, and gazing out at the horizon always makes me think about what lies beyond. My father, who served 24 years in the navy, greatly preferred this view. He didn’t care to see rocks or a beach, just long stretches of calm, blue water out to the horizon. While I agree the distant view is a very soothing one, I know that I would eventually grow bored with it and take the view for granted.
I have pondered this for several days now, trying to come up with a deeper metaphor for the reason why some prefer watching the waves instead of the long distant view, something about choosing turbulence and change over calm and placid. I finally realized though there really isn’t any great metaphor. We like what we like, and for our own reasons.
The odds of us living in a house here with either a close-up or long-distant view of the ocean are extremely slim to nothing. Ocean views here typically cost a lot of money, especially the ones where you’re close enough to watch the waves. For now, I’ll stick with the gorgeous view we get every time we head down the hill into town: first a distant look out at the ocean, followed by a spectacular view of the waves breaking on the reef and then rolling into shore when we reach the bottom of the hill.
After more than two years on this island, the ocean and the waves still take my breath away every time I see them, and thrill me to the bottom of my soul. I can’t ask for more.