PEACE AND TRANQUILITY: Ho’omaluhia means “to make a place of peace and tranquility.”
Spending a few hours at the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe, HI is one of the most relaxing hide-aways on the windward side of the island. There are 400 acres of geographically laid out botanic garden, including endangered and rare plants, a network of hiking trails and a 32-acre lake (sorry, no swimming or skinny-dipping allowed).
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden was designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide flood protection for Kaneohe. The facilities include a day use area, campgrounds and a Visitor Center with lecture room, exhibition hall, workshop and botanical library. The geographical regions which are predominately represented are the Philippines, Hawaii, Africa, Sri Lanka & India, Polynesia, Melanesia, Malaysia, and Tropical America. The environment is ever-changing as the plants are maturing.
Those are the facts. This is my experience:
From the moment you enter the garden you feel a delightful excitement rising within. Short, stout palm trees are standing proud to be elected as the welcoming committee of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. The drive is magical. The road curves and winds its way through a landscapes that is lush with greenery, exotic trees, flowers and berries. This is nature in all its glory. There is a field stone building as the visitor’s center and a few more stone building for restrooms along the way. They are cozy and romantic-looking with green moss contrasting the grayish stones. At the end of a few miles you will crest the hilltop. Turn your car around, step out and before you leave, when you can drag yourself away, burn this view into your memory. Kaneohe town is far below, just a toy set. The Ko’olau Mountains rise tall and jagged, seemingly within reach. The beauty is breathtaking but it is the peacefulness which enters your body as you listen to the birds and feel as one with nature that you’ll remember for a long time. Your spirit will rise high within you, possibly asking you for a dance upon the hilltop.
It is difficult to leave after such a short tour. But, when you do, I guarantee a smile of contentment will be upon your face. This last-minute trip was not long enough for me, I wanted to stay for hours upon hours, but the park closes its gate at 4:00. (We were a few minutes late exiting and the security guard reprimanded us for being tardy ~ you can’t blame him, he just wanted to go home after a hard day’s work.) For my next visit, (hopefully next week); I will plan a day’s excursion, with a picnic lunch, cold drinks and some mosquito repellant. And I will have the time to take so many more photographs to share with you! I do hope you enjoy the shots I got today.
Thank you, my dear friend, Terry, for accompanying me to this wonderful haven of tranquility. I enjoyed our entire day together, from searching for the best cell phone prices in the area, although we could have done this research on-line, it was much more fun hanging out with you. Our Chinese lunch plates from the Windward Mall food court were yummy, but I wouldn’t get the sweet and sour chicken again, my tongue did not approve of its strange texture whatsoever. Thank you for bringing me to your friend’s service station (garage) for an estimate on my car repair. I will let you know on Wednesday how it works out. The beer and nachos were an excellent way to end our day. The conversation went from heaven to hell and back again. We laughed a lot, which is a highly recommended remedy for women over fifty suffering from any and all ailments:)
Enjoying friends, peacefulness, nature and the present moment is pure bliss to me.