Hilo rains are unpredictable. So my parents and I took advantage of a sunny day and headed toward Volcano. Before reaching Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, we stopped at my dad’s farm lot, a lifetime “project” that stocked our household with bananas, pineapples, jaboticaba, and much more. We then visited a sightseeing attraction among Japanese tourists, Akatsuka Orchids since my dad knows Moriyasu Akatsuka, who founded the company in the 1970s and grows gorgeous orchids for sale worldwide.
I read this sign near a display. It brought to mind the potted orchids I see in random garden shops and corner grocers. Most of low-priced commercial plants come from Thailand. In Vancouver a blooming phalaenopsis spray can be yours for $20-25.
To a potted orchid, Vancouver has extremely low humidity. In winter, indoor heating counters outdoor mist and drizzle. In summer, days are long, brilliant, and dry. I imagined legions of orchids in air-conditioned office buildings, Kitsilano mansions, and yoga studios.
How do these plants fare? Can they thrive away from their ideal climate?
Imagine if someone plucked you away from your preferred home because they liked the way you look? Could you live anywhere and be happy enough? Could you bloom where you’re planted?
I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not…. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves… Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.
Here’s a shot of the entrance to my dad’s farm lot. He is definitely a man born in his due place.