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