Many years ago my daughter and I went to Hawaii. We were in awe of it’s beauty. We stayed in Waikiki but we flew to Maui for a day. It was there that I first learned about the Banyan Tree.
This banyan tree is in the historical Lahaina town, which was the former capital of Hawaii. It is the oldest banyan tree in Hawaii and also in the United States.
A gift from the Smith family, it was planted on April 24, 1873 at Lahaina by sheriff William Owen Smith to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Maui. The tree, from India was just 8 feet (2.4 m) when planted in the now Banyan Tree Park. It has grown to a height of about 60 feet (18 m) and has rooted into 16 major trunks, apart from the main trunk. The areal root system and canopy now cover over 0.66 acres (0.27 ha).
I can remember sitting under this tree taking the immense site in. I had never heard of banyan trees. Kelly and I were mesmerized for sure. The largest tree I had ever seen was the big willow my grandmother had in her yard. It literally made a cool outdoor room with space enough to hold several chairs and long willows keeping everything else out. But, that was nothing compared to a park contained in a tree.
In fairness I have to divulge that the technical information contained in this post is from Wikipedia. I have all of that information about the park and the tree and have several pictures from my trip, but I just can’t put my hands on therm. So I have done some cheating so to speak. This picture is from the internet. I have lost the link I copied to put on the picture. There are thousands of pictures on the internet of the park. My apologies to the photographer for not giving due credit.
I can remember sitting with Kelly under this tree and realizing that this tree was like my family. Although each areal root was part of the next, it was an individual with its own needs at any given time. These roots were responding to weather, traffic, insects and the people who enjoyed it’s fruits and shade. I think that’s when I became interested in my family tree. I developed a need to discover my roots.
One last note here. When someone tells me there is no God, I can’t help but ask how do you explain the beauty that surrounds us? The sky, stars, flowers, the mighty banyan tree? Unfortunately, most reply how do you explain the ugly, awful, pain and destruction of the world. It is sad to me that so many people don’t realize that God is real, but so is Satan who spends his existence trying to damage what good God has given us and we have a choice in participating in the good or evil.