Kamani trees line Meridian Avenue in South Beach and form a canopy overhead, shading the street and the sidewalks. Thick cool shade. We came here, in part, because of the trees. They are native to east Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, and they have been naturalized in the main Hawaiian islands. They are at home here on Meridian, as I am.
Daily I walk under the kamani trees; from the balcony I look down into them.
The sidewalks are pink in South Beach.
Some say the recent cold spell--the coldest time in Florida since the 1940s--shocked the kamani trees. They've been dropping so many leaves, which now have been swept into huge piles. I hope they will come back to themselves and put out more green. Once on a hot day when I was feeling nervous and frail, I walked under the trees, stopped and put my hand against the trunk. The bark was cool, the tree immensely solid, fortifying.