Last weekend after the dancing at Pohoiki Park we decided to visit a fellow halau member who has been going through some serious health issues and has not been able to dance. We miss her, so we stopped by to say aloha. During our conversation over iced tea she asked if we would like to see her “Secret Beach”. Well, of course we would! It was just a little way down the road, a dead end road. So here we were wearing our performance pa’u (hula skirts), blouses and flowers in our hair, following our friend down a trail. It was steep, it was muddy, slippery with lots of ferns and small trees for support going down. But, when we reached the bottom of the trail it opened onto sheets of pahoehoe lava which is smooth and glassy. As we walked on it changed to chunks of ‘a’a lava to step over and around until there it was. Lava was piled high on the left held back the ocean, but at high tide, then ocean managed to breach the barrier, dropping its load of sand onto the flat spaces in front of it making a perfect little beach. The sand was incredibly soft to walk on. The water was only a foot or so deep. On the right was a ground covering of Naupaka–a plant with tiny white flowers whose petals grow in a semi circle. The other half of the circle grows on the Naupaka of the mountain elevations. Auntie Nona Beamer used to tell a story about a princess of royal Hawaiian blood who fell in love with a commoner. When their love was discovered she was banished to the mountains and he to the sea. The Naupaka now only grows in the mountains or by the sea and the petals are the remnants of a love that was torn in half never to be whole again.