Three Weddings and a Beach

My boyfriend and I pulled into White Rock Beach on the southside of Maui, toting a cardboard box of Coors Light, a bag of ice, a few bright white hotel towels, and our vacation koozies.

We finally made it – to a beach – to sit and listen and be. To watch memories and unrehearse our future. To accept the ocean breaking, and the tide rolling, and the sun drifting behind clouds. Somewhere sunny and 75, drinking a beer.

Just before sunset a preacher or a priest or a pastor walked out on the beach with his Aloha shirt, followed by a groom dressed all in white. A friend rested rose petals on the sand, and a mother held up a laptop that likely Skyped with family and friends.

The bride appeared from behind a green hedge, although the groom had already seen her soft white dress as she tried to hide behind the hedge in the first place. A boom box recited some song, and they stood next to each other on the edge of the ocean, on the edge of sunset, on the edge of a day.

He placed a purple lei over her head, and she draped a green one across his shoulders. They kissed. They smiled for pictures. They walked across a damp sand leaving footprints. The gentle water reached up to her dress, wrapping it with sand and salty ocean.

The best man and bridesmaid threw a bottle with a note into the ocean. They left, just as another wedding dress appeared on the beach.

In Maui, weddings on public beaches are not uncommon. White Rock, though, is not the most popular beach for marriage ceremonies. That late afternoon, we witnessed three.

We finished our Coors Lights and swam in the ocean. We watched the weddings and tried to duck out of the pictures. We felt the island – in the shape of an infinity sign surrounded by water – reach around and under and through.

We noticed love swirling into infinity. We saw a bottle bobbing in the ocean.