Ho‘omau, as nature teaches us to do

The value which gets highlighted the most in Managing with Aloha (by Kindle readers, enabling me to notice it) isn’t Aloha or Ho‘ohana: It’s Ho‘omau, the value of persistence, perseverance, tenacity and resilience.

“Renew. Anything worth having is worth working for. Persistence is often the defining quality between those who fail and those who succeed” There is never much satisfaction in giving up, and Ho‘omau is the value that will cause you to continue, to persevere in your efforts, and to perpetuate those that have worked.”
Managing with Aloha, Chapter 4

Ultimately, the quality of life is what’s “worth having” and “worth working for” and these days I’m seeing fabulous examples of that thanks to Mother Nature.

Budding promises

Our story…

We took a 10-day holiday this past Christmas, and we shut off the irrigation system we have for our garden when we left. We expected rain while we were gone, and to leave it on during Hawai‘i’s December would be far too wasteful and irresponsible.

Well, it didn’t rain. Not at all.

We came back home to find that much of our garden was dead.

Trying my best

Or was it?

Sometimes, it’s good to strip away the pain quickly, and start over.
[Like when there’s fire: Your Edge comes from your Inconvenience]

At other times, you pray a lot, and you figure out what else you can do, especially when precious trees are involved, trees which have fruited for you abundantly, and faithfully marked your seasons in a number of life-inspiring ways.

Surinam Cherry

You figure out how to Ho‘omau.

The happy part of my story, is that all most of my garden needed was my hand watering just before sunrise each morning to moisten without rotting, coupled with as much patience as I could muster.

Happy to see your blues

To be outside each morning now (still hand watering) is such an exquisite pleasure, for there are more flowers now than usual for January: My garden’s survivors are making their own season. Even the mango tree is going for a second blooming, as if to tell me, “Okay, I’ll try again too. I don’t want to be left out of this party!”

Kula reliability

Did anything die? Yes, most notably one of my puakenikeni trees, but there’s another one, the one which had always been the healthier of the two, even when sharing its root space with the plumeria.

Now that the trees are back, it’s time to learn by their example. It’s my turn to Ho‘omau in the human way.

How about you? How will you Ho‘omau in your season, and not let go?

Stevia Tenacity


  1. Roselia Conrad says

    What a simply beautiful, inspiring story, Rosa, at a time when my Ho’omau is called to practice, after over 3 long years of wandering in the desert and mountains, across rivers and oceans. Good thing I love to travel!!! Mahalo and Aloha. Roselia

    • Rosa Say says

      Yes Roselia, travel IS a good thing, and we can’t be tethered to our gardens. But next time I turn off the irrigation I’m enlisting the help of my neighbors’ watchful eyes too!

      My grandmother had taught me that purposely stressing plants which won’t bloom will bring out their survival instincts – and that’s exactly what seems to be happening, but it’s not something I want to repeatedly count on when I travel… it would be cruel.