Ho`opakele – A Story of Rescue and Resilience
While on my “break” from technology I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii island and had a very moving experience hearing the following story.
We attended the Orchid Show in Hilo and when I walked in there was a vendor selling some unusual jewelry made from plants that were preserved so that they still appeared real and pliable. I quickly was drawn to a pair of earrings that were made from fern tips, made my purchase and went on my way as there were several other customers in line. When I showed them to my friend she said she wanted to be sure to stop by on our way out. So, as we ended our visit we headed to the booth. This time the proprietor was available to talk and told us the story of these unusual pieces.
For years he had been making his jewelry from orchid plants that he grew on his property in Puna that had recently been consumed by the lava flow. The few remaining pieces of jewelry he was selling that day were the last of those plants. How many of us would have been devastated at this point? Not him. The fern jewelry was his first attempt at rescuing his business but he had also started looking at new orchid species that would be more transportable and could help him recover more quickly. He had found this one particular orchid with tiny cascading flowers that he was introducing as his new collection.
What was so inspiring was his positive and entrepreneurial spirit in the face of such adversity. Knowing that the orchid jewelry there was the last of that collection, of course I had to buy another pair of earrings, beautiful light lavender colored petals.
When those hard times hit us, it is not always easy to see that we do have choices. Choices in how we see the situation, choices in how we respond, and choices in how we tell our story. The next time you are faced with hardship, I hope you will find that positive, resilient spirit within you.
A hui hou…
Lani, you captured perfectly the feeling of that conversation. I know because I was the friend with you that day! Thank you for sharing this inspiring story of the Big Island’s response to our ongoing lava flow.