Today’s our last day on the Big Island. I'm feeling a lot more relaxed than I did a week ago back in Minnesota.
Channa wants to visit the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens. As we drive along Highway 19 towards Hilo, it's another eight and a half miles north before reaching the gardens. As we get closer, we start descending into a deep, lush and green tropical valley that meets the sea. The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a 17-acre parcel known for its seclusion and beauty. The founder and his wife, in an effort to preserve the valley and all its beauty and their desire to leave a legacy to the world, established the gardens back in 1977. “The Garden,” the brochure reads, “is dedicated to providing a plant sanctuary, a living seed bank, and a study center for trees and plants of the tropical world and to preserving the incredibly beautiful natural environment of Onomea Bay for generations to come."
Channa loves flowers and if there is a heaven, she's found it. Even stoic Zach is filled inside with good vibes; he’s smiling and enjoying the spirits of this botanical wonderland. I snap a picture of Zach beside a Tiki carving: His eyes are closed and a he’s got a million dollar smile on his face. The Tiki figure has his mouth open and in the picture it looks like he is about to eat Zach alive. Something’s happening here: There are positive spiritual vibrations that are working like a washing machine, cleansing our troubled souls.
I can’t explain but I'm overtaken by a flood of calm; I feel an immense spiritual power right under my feet. The Tiki's are important remnants of the Hawaiian religious system. The Tiki figure about to eat Zach is named "KU" after an ancient Hawaiian God. Hawaiian history says “KU” is supposed to give wisdom, strength and courage when engaged in competition. They're carved from old Monkey Pod trees that grow in this garden. I keep feeling this powerful spiritual vibration as I walk through the garden. We take our time to look at all the different varieties and colors of flowers - orchids, roses, birds of paradise, colorful palms and other plants and flowers whose names I don't know. We reach a point where we’re at the foot of the ocean. I find a bench to sit on, close my eyes, and sit still. The lapping of the small waves help wash away my feelings of loss over Sam.