The little cove by the sea was a curved blanket of sand.
Gentle waves swirled up onto its beach for a half-million years. No pig, goat, mongoose or man laid eyes on it. Only God, and a few scuttling crabs saw its waves swaying silently through the centuries. The cove was like an ivory crescent moon, alone and content.
The sun rose and fell a billion times above it. Like all of nature, it needed nothing. Perfect unto itself.
One morning, a wooden canoe filled with humans sliced through the surf and slid into its banks. One man stepped out, the first footprint. They all jumped out and walked around, churning up the sand. They hauled the canoe across the cove, marring its face. They walked into the interior of the island and did not return.
The cove waited nervously for years but no more canoes came. The sands relaxed.
Then one day, another canoe came, then another. Always the people left the shore to build villages up the mountain, visiting the small beach to swim from time to time. A few thatched huts appeared above the beach but eventually crumbled.
Soon tall ships with masts reaching to the sky anchored off shore, and stern men rowed in, stepping on the smooth sand with big black boots. They left broken wooden chests and piles of fish nets on the beach, then sailed away. In time the waves washed everything away.
White sea birds twirled above the cove, wild pigs snorted along the shore, goats browsed in the shrubs, only animals roamed by the shore. All was pure.
In time, towns sprouted up nearby, turning into cities of cement and steel. Highways were built, cars drove right up to the edge of the cove. Only a few people came to swim and paddle surfboards out into the welcoming waves.
The cove didn’t mind. It was glad to share the sparkling wealth of the ocean.
For years only a few came, driving on the dirt road, enjoying the soft sands and turquoise waters. A few swimmers shared the waves, leaving the beach clean each day. Nature in perfect balance, perhaps, but it could not last.
The beauty of nature always attracts progress and its dirty, extending hands. Innocence attracts evil.
Soon crowds were swarming to the cove. So many they had to pave the dirt road with a highway to the beach, with bathrooms, showers and janitor carts.
Three million years of serenity came to an end as carloads of people piled out. Beach towels, sun-screened legs, beer, bellies.
Pop-up tents, Frisbees, barking dogs, cans, coolers, children, some screaming, diapers, radios, flotillas of foam boards, people tumbling in the waves.
Taco trucks and shave ice stands suddenly filled the parking lot.
Soon, days not too far from now, there will be so many people, they will have to monitor the once-quiet cove with four lifeguards, a tower, and a gasoline beach-mobile.
It’s the next chapter in the beautiful, long-lost cove now called Kua Bay.
Dennis Gregory is a writer, artist, singer, teacher and Kailua-Kona resident who mixes truth, humor and aloha in his biweekly column. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.