Aloha every moment and every day is a blessing. Taking the time to breathe and in being in nature is not only part of my spiritual path yet rather an extension of my anatomy, a part of who I am. Kauai has been on our list to visit. We have both felt a deep connection and Edith so amazingly surprised me with a trip to Kauai for my birthday. When we arrived the green palm leaves moved in the wind as if welcoming us to the land.
It was so wonderful to learn that Kauai is 5 million years old! How sacred to be on this land. After being on land for some time it was time to be in the air.
We took a spectacular helicopter ride. Being in the air really provides a greater perspective. We were both in awe and went into silence for the majority of the trip. We were taken to places that are not accessible through walking but accessible through the birds eyes view. I felt a part of my soul had been here before, as we flew over, through and in between places the beauty and knowledge held in the land moved my heart, tears streamed down from my eyes.
After the ride we went on a tour to visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
The garden's mission is to "enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions". One of there programs is the Breadfruit Institute they use it to " promote the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation". The Breadfruit Institute has provided more than 60,000 plus trees to 30 countries. As conservation is one of there main work you can see a breadfruit on there logo. I got reacquainted with bread fruit on the islands here, growing up in and visiting South America I would eat fried breadfruit with coconut rice.
After going to the visitor center we headed out to the Allerton Garden (Lāwa`i Kai). In the bus we passed by Bougainvillea flowers these flowers remind me of Colombia and going to the farm as a young child. Running in the fields with my extended cousin also called Vanessa we would mash Bougainvillea leaves on a rock and make a paste. Then my little cousins would come and bring other children. Some children would make pretend we were doctors, then we would apply it on their hands, other children would buy the salve with money made of rocks and sticks. Young children are often very connected to their inner truth, the source with in. They intuitively and instinctively gravitate towards what makes them happy. Often if left children will create mud pies or different concoction with leaves, twigs and sticks.
The pressing of leaves to make salves is common in most culture. In Hawaii, La'au Lapa'au is tradition in which the element of the earth are used for healing. The herbal remedies are made with roots, leaves, stems of the plants other elements of nature are utilized as well.
Walking through the garden we passed by a tamarind tree. Tamarind is used in indian cuisine I haven't tried cooking with tamarind yet. We also saw a Kiave tree both were planted by Queen Emma.
We passed through the Diana Fountain, it was interesting to find out that the owner specifically did not want the statues to be washed as he wanted the statues to grow with the garden naturally.
Walking through the forest, I turned- looked up and saw the sun peaking through the trees. I found a beautiful spiderweb, the light peaking through different areas made it reflect different colors and sparkle. The spiral seemed to makes me think of how we can incorporate and join all aspects of ourselves and spiritual values into all aspects of life. In Native American culture the spider symbolism represents how we are weaving our lives.
I felt so humbled to touch the ancient Cyacad plant. We learned this plant has been found to be up to 300 million years old. It was alive at the time dinosaur were alive. Here I am connecting to the vibrations of this ancient plant.
Next we learned about the 'Ape plant or "Elephant ears" plant. The leaves had medicinal properties the ancient ancestors would wrap it around a someone who had a fever. I learned that 'Ape leaves look like taro leaves but the difference is that the taro leaves go down and the 'Ape leaves go up.
Next we went to the reflection pond. As you can see nature is reflecting in the water, we are nature itself. Like this, I am working towards the practice of feeling, experiencing and learning to see each person as a reflection of the divine. What do you see when you look at the pond? what energies and emotions are emerging/reflecting for you at the moment?
Thought of the day: May we discover our inner landscapes and fill it with peace. May we open our minds, hearts and spirit to receive the light from with in. I offer flowers to your heart from mine.