With guava and coconut trees in the front yard, my grandmother's porch overlooks Diamond Head, Oahu's famous landmark. I am sitting on the steps of Grandma's front porch, a perch I have loved since childhood. Sitting there, the sun on my face, I remember...
Grandma would watch the crater's slopes transform from summertime brown ("Not enough rain," she'd grumble) to winter rain-soaked green ("How beautiful my Diamond Head looks," she'd exclaim).
My grandmother's Diamond Head.
For me, because of Grandma, statuesque Diamond Head will always symbolize ohana (family) and aloha.
Diamond Head is located on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu.The volcanic crater was named in the 1800s by British sailors who mistook the calcite crystals found on the slopes for diamonds.
Early Hawaiians called the majestic site Le'ahi-- forehead (lae) of the tuna fish (ahi)-- after the shape of the crater. A special place to Kamehameha the Great, there are several ancient heiau (shrines) along its slopes.
Extinct for 150,000 years, Diamond Head is 800 feet tall. You can climb the crater. About one million people annually make the memorable one-mile hike from the floor to the summit. The trail inside the slopes was built in 1910 by the military and includes a dark tunnel with 271 steps through an abandoned World War II bunker.
The view from the top of Le'ahi is awesome-- a 360-degree view of Oahu's southern coast... Certainly a glimpse of Eden.
Diamond Head, a view of Eden.