|Pam, Delle, and the God Ku|
The Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Garden, located in the Onomea Valley just north of Hilo, is a place of wonders, in its natural state a place of beauty, but in the hands of people who love growing things, something never to forget. The plants, the design, even the paths have changed in 22 years, yet everywhere I went, I remembered. That was a good thing. You see, Thursday was the 32nd anniversary of our marriage. And this was the first trip since Hubbubs passed away in January. So this was a day for celebrating the joy of the past.
The path into the valley is steep and I'm no longer good at walking uphill so I made arrangements to be hauled back out in the golf cart for that purpose. I noticed a lot of people made that choice. So I didn't feel so bad. There's a planked path into the valley, an improvement because it's hard to keep one's footing in wet gravel, and this is a very rainy part of the world.
Going down, we passed through a very cultured but natural-appearing jungle. The giant vine on the tree is a plant commonly called Split-leafed Philodendron. My dad would have a cow whenever he heard that because it's not a philodendron at all, but in fact is Monstera Deliciosa. He grew a giant one in our garden dining room in Illinois, and achieved a small miracle of producing one very incredible fruit that looked like corn and tasted like banana and pineapple combined. It lives up to its delicious name.
And speaking of fruit, there are lots of bananas in the valley. I didn't realize they have such beautiful blossoms.
Ginger is common, but wasn't as visible as I remembered before. I loved this pink one, but never did see a good red torch ginger.
Spots of color were everywhere among the thousand shades of green. I've heard-and even though an anthropologist told me, I've been a bit skeptical-that some tropical peoples have no equivalent word for green. Instead they have many words for different kinds of green, not so much the shades of green as the plant or part of the plant the shade of green represents.
|Window to a Spot of Color|
|Close-up on the Spot of Color|
Here you can see a spot of red I caught through the dense forest. I couldn't tell what it was, although I suspect it's ginger. I enlarged it, and still can't be quite sure so I won't name it. If I could see its leaves, maybe I could tell.
|Kelsy and the Peace Lily|
|Don't know what this is|
|Onomea Bay and Rushing Tide|
I remember how in awe we were at the magnificent color of the sea, of the way the driftwood juxtaposed with the coarse rock, and how the sea gathered into the triangular bay and met the spot where the stream had cut its way downhill, fresh water meeting saltwater.
|Where Sea Meets Stream|
|Jeff's Daughter Pam at Onomea Bay|
Pam, Betty and Kelsy were wonderful traveling companions. And they understood how much this trip meant to me on so many levels.
Yes. Many happy memories. And now, many more.
But wait, I forgot my punchline again. So-- how many ways are there to walk into doors? Guess I was wrong-there's apparently just one: Having taken a gentle, cooling shower after yesterday's nasty sunburn, and stepping out of the shower, catching your shoulder against the plastic mounting trim of the door. Ouch, Kelsy!