Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Roots Photos: Home is Where Your Roots Are

Thinking about home always gives me pause. Is home where I was born – no, since I have never been back since I was an infant. Is home where I grew up? Probably not, because I no longer have family there.  Where and what is home? Is home an abstract place, like some people suggest, a place that shifts – wherever one is currently living, wherever one can hang one’s hat, wherever one’s loved one or family happens to be? Or is it more spiritual, your “heart place” in the world, even if you’re not there? Is home where you’re from, where your family is from?

Maui Shop Girl’s photo challenge this week is, “Home is where the… is,” I’ve chosen the theme of roots. Home is where your roots are.

Trunk and root hanging down (right side) of the giant eucalyptus tree in the gulch behind my house.

More aerial roots, of a "money" tree.
There are some bromeliad leaves in this picture.

Home could be where you were born and raised, but it doesn’t have to be. Just like a plant can be transplanted into a bigger pot, or moved, so can people. Some plants do better, actually thrive, when they’re moved somewhere else, while other plants should be left where they are. 

Sugar cane roots. The stalk, which already had side shoots,
was chopped into pieces, and roots emerge at each section.

Taro, a much revered plant in Hawaiian culture.
These are not that large for taro tubers, and there are
side roots/shoots that form off the main tuber. 

If you’re living on Maui, but your heart pines for Colorado, and you haven’t found a sense of belonging here, haven’t really planted yourself here, then home is Colorado. If you’re born and raised on Maui, and your family is here, and you wouldn’t dream of leaving, then home is here. If you’ve moved here, and do feel a sense of belonging, and feel like you’ve rooted, then home is here. Home is where you feel your strength, feel nourished, feel rooted. And yes, I think “home” can change.

Bromeliad roots circling around a tree trunk.
This is related to pineapple, and produces exquisite flowers.
Hint: It's the v-shaped plant in the left side of the picture.

Is Maui home for me? Yes, and no. I’m not attached to living here for the rest of my life, but it’s a good place to be and I have put down some roots here. But I am very attached to Hawaii, and I have a hard time imagining myself living elsewhere. Not that I wouldn’t mind spending a year in Italy or traveling somewhere, but I’d want to come back home. For me, home is Hawaii, but not necessarily Maui. There might be a time where I’d want to live on Oahu again, or back on Kauai, or even try a different island. Even though all the Hawaiian Islands are different, they still feel like home. 

Ti leaf roots... The stalk can be cut off, placed in water, and will eventually root. The rooting stalk is next to a similar colored ti leaf plant. This stalk will eventually produce beautiful pink and green striped leaves. Ti leaf is wonderfully easy to grow, plant and transplant. 

Roots can also be quite large, and extensive, like with banyan trees whose many roots hang down from the branches. They are big enough to swing on, and children love to play with them, especially the one at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center

Anyhow, halfway through November with NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. Phew!


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