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Paradise Images

Updated on August 31, 2016
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Ruth, aka Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, UT. She married a Polynesian boy and has had amazing travel experiences.

Punalu'u Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Punalu'u Copyright Ruth Kongaika

Paradise is different for each person. To me, paradise is a place where you have no worries, everything is beautiful, and you can just relax and live happily ever after. Colors are more colorful. Beauty is more beautiful. Love is even more lovely. Is there really such a place? The closest that I have come to this idyllic existence has been here in Hawaii. Of course, it is not present every single day, but now and then, in brief moments, there are little glimpses of what Paradise may be like.

Bird of Paradise in Garden Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Bird of Paradise in Garden Copyright Ruth Kongaika

Because of the moderate weather here in Hawaii, plants blossom and grow throughout the year. We feel lucky to be able to have a garden growing while others are shoveling the snow and scraping off their windshields. Of course, with constant warm temperatures, you have high humidity and plenty of bugs. In my idea of Paradise, there will be no bugs!

I grew up with four seasons, and do miss the obvious changes, especially the beautiful autumn leaves of fall, and new blossoms of spring. But there is a stark contrast when I travel in the winter from Hawaii to the mainland. We go from green lush tropical rain forests and blue sky and ocean to dead dry brittle and cold, mostly gray, scenery.

Here are a few more random pictures that I would consider as part of Paradise, if there really is one.

Tropical fronds Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Tropical fronds Copyright Ruth Kongaika

I imagine Paradise is a world where everything looks Photoshopped (only God can do that without the software). No splotches of decay or dirt on anything. No thorns on the rose bushes or flying insects to pester and bite you. Everything is perfectly formed and exquisite. Also, in people there is no envy, bitterness, anger, prejudice, or hatred. Everyone would be happy and get along. This idyllic condition could only exist in a true Paradise. Hawaii is so not like that, but has a few attributes of a Paradise. To see it you have to have on rose-colored glasses. You have to ignore the high prices of most everything, dismiss the prejudices and accept the status quo. Human nature seems to get in the way every time.

'Tis Eventide Copyright Ruth Kongaika
'Tis Eventide Copyright Ruth Kongaika

Personally, I feel a bit of Paradise when I see a lovely sunset with beautiful colors filling the skies. The eventide speaks peace to me, and is proof that I have made it through another day. I accomplish the most in the evenings because I feel energized realizing all the blessings I have.

Pearly Shells from the Ocean Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Pearly Shells from the Ocean Copyright Ruth Kongaika

God's creations are vast and spectacular. I am always in awe when I see delicate shells or perfect flowers in all their varieties. Paradise would be a world where we could enjoy each of these miracles on a more personal basis.

Lovely Frills Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Lovely Frills Copyright Ruth Kongaika

The picture below is very close to where I live. It is at the end of a long narrow piece of land, which of course, is prime real estate since both sides have beach frontage. This land extension is called Laniloa. Legend has it that it used to be a large lizard or mo'o. It originally stood upright, ready to attack any threat. One day a legendary warrior named Kana had made a goal to kill all the mo'o (lizards) in Hawaii. He chopped this lizard into five pieces and threw it into the ocean. Now you can see the pieces sticking out of the water - they are five small islands lying off shore near here. It is a favorite place for fishermen, but the waves can be pretty dangerous. I enjoy looking at the island in the distance which has a hole worn through it from the waves.

The Point Copyright Ruth Kongaika
The Point Copyright Ruth Kongaika

The mountains here in Hawaii are majestic. There are many waterfalls because of the type of volcanic cliffs that exist. But, don't let them fool you! Many people have gotten lost in the mountains here taking a leisurely hike all alone. They are to be respected.

Ko'olau Mountains Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Ko'olau Mountains Copyright Ruth Kongaika

My father and I took a hike up to the Waimea Falls (pictured below). There is a botanical garden on the way up with markers showing the different species names. Once at the falls, many people take a dip in the little pond. Waimea Falls was featured in a recent episode of Hawaii 5-0.

Waimea Falls Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Waimea Falls Copyright Ruth Kongaika

Our favorite place to go on weekends and holidays to relax is the beach. Something about the sand, water and trees instantly make you relax and draw you in to a happier existence.

Fronds at the beach. Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Fronds at the beach. Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Beach flowers Copyright Ruth Kongaika
Beach flowers Copyright Ruth Kongaika

So, what is Paradise to you? I have told you what it is to me. I would love to hear your thoughts. Aloha!


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