A few years ago, while my wife and I were on vacation in Hawaii, we happened upon a beautiful little produce stand that sold smoothies made with organic fruit grown on-site (Laulima Farms in Hana, Maui). We spent some time hanging out there, talking to the people who worked on the farm and to the locals who stopped by.
I really fell in love with the place. I was enamored with the fact that they grew their own food, and that it was organic; that they made it fresh to-order for anyone who stopped by; in a blender powered by a bicycle! And on and on.
Over the years I’ve thought about that place and how fortunate those people were to be a part of it. Eventually I decided that instead of being envious of how good they had it, I would do whatever I could to make my home my own personal paradise.
I realized that back on that island farm, the fruit didn’t magically appear. The bamboo produce stand with hand-painted signs didn’t either. Ditto for the bike-powered blender. Those things took time and effort to plan, grow, build and refine.
So we started building our own paradise with small luxuries; a small bed for herbs in our back yard. A potted basil plant in the kitchen. Having fresh herbs literally footsteps away from your food prep area is great! It makes me smile every time I snip a handful of herbs for a meal or gently touch the leaves just to release their fresh fragrance.
Every year we improve upon our paradise plan, or attempt to and learn from our setbacks. The fruits of our labor are here to greet us every day. It’s nice to think about it that way instead of always wishing I were a long flight and a hemisphere away from my every day life.