Puka Shells

I spent the entire day in the Hawaiian sunshine searching for tiny shells on the soft tan sand beaches. I’m collecting Puka shells, the tiny white shells that every ‘cool’ person wore in the 1970s. Puka shell anklets, key chains, necklaces and bracelets were everywhere. I remember the bracelet and anklet that I had, but my boyfriend out did me. He had a keychain, a necklace and two bracelets. We were both very cool! These shells brought back many memories.

Today, I collected my fair share of them. I’m exhausted. I walked past a small makeshift hut made of reeds and  bamboo. The weathered elderly man inside had a half a dozen bushel baskets spilling over with Puka shells and was making Puka shell jewelry right on the beach. He spoke almost no English but his perpetual smile revealed his content. Everyone here smiles and it’s becoming very clear that it’s hard not to be happy here.

Like clock work, tourists gather at sunset to watch the locals in Kauai surf the deep peacock blue waves that rush fiercely over the shore. This evening a young boy, no more than six years old, surfed these powerful waves with ease. At first, I was scared for him, but he was a professional and I was awestruck. It was incredibly impressive!

The sunsets are magnificent. You run out of words to describe them. Tonight the colors and shapes of the clouds took my breath away.

Now, I sit on a pier to write this and relish.

By: Rhonda Brunett


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