My penchant is for trees, all kinds of trees. The strange and eerie trees hanging around Hawaii did not disappoint. One that I saw on Maui reminded me of the silver trees of Champagne. The banyan trees on Ala Moana Beach tried to devour me the way they did in Togo. Remember that shadeless tree the Weeping Widow? Well, Hawaii has a tall scrappy pine tree that seems to be just as out of place on the islands as the Weeping Widow was in Togo. I have so many fond memories of trees throughout my life and my travels. They have comforted me, listened to me, and guided me.
Flowers, on the other hand, have largely gone unnoticed by me. Though they are pretty and sometimes smell nice, they are not trees. I liken flowers to jewelry. They decorate the tree, but the tree would still radiate wonder and magic even without bijoux, much as a woman who doffs her jewelry at night is still a magnificent creature in her own right.
Then I saw the flora of Hawaii and figured differently. The flowers are their own sort of miracle, independent of the trees, or perhaps more accurately, mutually complementary to them. My personal favorite was the plumeria – specifically, the white one with the yellow center. I bought a plastic one for my hair. Not exactly the same thing, but a gentle reminder of two weeks of my life spent surrounded by the glory of Hawaii’s flora.
My apologies to all the flowers throughout time whom I may have offended. It took a bit of coaxing to acknowledge your splendor. Hawaii opened my eyes to a new sort of beauty. The islands are good that way.