Banyan tree, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

They look like tattoos. The tree’s over a hundred years old, and the writing is in many different languages and congee symbols. The stories they tell are old and new and dark with hope and wishes of love, and another time, another world, travelers never to return, a prayer, and a goof on a drunken pacific night, forgotten dreams and remembered regrets, past time and past faith. And maybe he said to her, I love you, and perhaps she said, I have to go, and he wanted to cross it out, but he walked away and left it as a hope, or maybe a curse. And maybe many of these people did think of the tree, and what of this tree who lends itself to the whims of travelers, defiled but standing strong against the rain and the sun, carrying all this into the future.