“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.” ― Pablo Neruda
Our honeymoon gift from an ATV guide as we cruised the Kipu Ranch on Kauai made our day even more special. We took a three-hour tour of the 3,000-acre property that extended from the Huleia River to the top of the Haupu Mountains. This was a property owned by Hawaiian royalty, then given to a priest, whose family went on to become sugar-cane millionaires and land owners, all the while thanking God.
Our tour included a stop where Harrison Ford, in the first Indiana Jones movie, escaped to the awaiting seaplane from the inhospitable natives protecting their treasures. We had the opportunity to swing out over the river just as Ford did, so we did.
The highlight of the trip was the breathtaking beauty that awaited us at the top of Haupu Ridge. This isolated area is on the privately owned ranch that provides an awe-inspiring view of Kipu Kai beach that is only accessible by boat to the public. However, there is a road now accessible only to the caretakers of this isolated beach. The makers of the movie paved a road down to the beach for the caretaker that was the payment instead of cash to film there.
We soaked in the beauty of the place and prepared to leave, we mentioned to our guide that this was our honeymoon. He said, that he had a story to tell us. He pointed out a half flower called Naupaka. Its blossoms appear incomplete; they are only half a flower because all the petals are on one side. In reality, the flower is complete.
The flowers are white or cream colored, often with purple streaks. They have an irregular shape with all five petals on one side of the flower making them appear to have been torn in half.
One of the myths surrounding the flower is that a princess was forbidden to marry her true love, a fisherman, because he was a commoner. As they parted ways forever, she tore a flower in half, giving one half to him and keeping the other half for herself. She then returned to the mountains where her family lived. Brokenhearted, they both cried and planted their halves of the flower. Each half grew and became the two forms of naupaka – the beach naupaka (naupaka kahakai) and the mountain naupaka (naupaka kuahiwi).
It is said that if the mountain Naupaka and beach Naupaka flowers are reunited, the two young lovers will be together again.
Here is the secret of the flowers: when the two are jointed they create a heart. This was our guide’s honeymoon gift to us.
Photographs by RJW