There’s plenty of places in this country that encourage disenchantment, cities and states that practically compete to provide visitors with a sense of disillusionment and despair. Then there’s Hawaii. From the moment I arrived, there was something like a command to surrender to enchantment, a mandate for ecstasy. This makes a certain kind of sense: Hawaii’s physical beauty is legendary; the fact that even the air itself–smelling of flowers, of ripe greenness, fecund and full–is a thing of wonder should tell you something, namely that you are in the presence of the sublime.
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