I think nearly everyone has cared for (or neglected to care for) a cactus at some point: these little prickly creatures were among the first plants that I ever kept alive. I love plants that have lots of personality–and nothing screams “attitude” (or perhaps “awesome evolutionary adaptation”) more than spines and strange outshooting arms.
So why wouldn’t I want to channel the moxie of the spikiest guys around? As I’ve often mentioned, I very rarely wear traditional t-shirts, but I didn’t stand a chance against this sassy cactus tee: particularly because of its forest green hue and gold accents.”Free hug,” indeed.
Most of the time, days in Hawai’i require two different outfits: the first things you choose in the morning, and then a slight variation that’s more appropriate for hiking and forest-rambling. I started the day off in an ensemble that paired the cactus with a pleated brown maxi skirt: my philosophy is that as long as your clothes embody the color palette of a tree, you must be doing something right.
(I also briefly thought I saw an ‘i’iwi [the Hawaiian scarlet honeycreeper]–hence the photo above.)
Later, I let down my hair and switched to shorts for a quick walk through Kipuka Puaulu, or “Bird Park,” a lovely little forest near the Mauna Loa strip road. Bird Park was a hot spot for my family during my childhood: I can’t count the number of times that I skipped my way through its loop trail or enjoyed a picnic lunch at the smaller parks nearby. In the golden light of the rainforest’s early afternoon, I could almost imagine my younger self walking among the tall grasses, inventing all sorts of strange creatures in her head.
The best cure for nostalgia, it seems, is to relive your childhood by dancing around in the trees like a fairy for photoshoot purposes.