Cordyline fruticosa

Threatening sprinkles in the morning turned to full-blown rain this afternoon. Cooler temps have made for cooler moods around here--it's been a quiet couple of days.

Pictured is a reddish cultivar of the Ti plant (pronounced "tee") growing in the garden. Native to New Guinea and Australia, it was spread through the tropics and New Zealand by ancient Polynesian settlers; so while it isn't native to Hawaii, it's been here a long time. It served many purposes for ancient settlers. The leaves were used to hold, wrap, and store food, as well as to thatch roofs. They were also tied together in dense layers to make hula skirts and other traditional dancewear. The sweet roots of the plant were fermented to make a type of Hawaiian liquor called okolehao. The plant was thought also to have strong spiritual influence; the cultivation of Ti (or Ki, in the Hawaiian language) brought good luck to one's life.

I appreciate everyone's encouraging sentiments yesterday about my impending transition. I do hope to stay a while longer and continue learning about Hawaii. Change is sometimes a difficult thing to comprehend, let alone accept.

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