My interest at the Miraflores location is mostly an aesthetic one. I love locations where people have been absent for an extended time and nature has taken over. In locations such as this, vast meeting of opposites occur: materials and their demise, intentions and accidents, human activity and natural process, productivity and stagnation. At the Miraflores location, the balance of these opposites, which was in part created by man and then nature over a long period of time, results in a pure visual splendor.
I am also aware of the historical implication of this site, the scars of injustice fallen on the families who once ran these greenhouses. I am descendent of Japanese American citizens; my family lost everything and was placed in camps against their will in Topaz, Utah. My grandparents rarely mentioned the dark days of internment, the pain so great, the loss of composure was not something they could face to an inquisitive grandchild.
The spirit embodied in the flowers that continue to grow and thrive at Miraflores without help from the stewards that used to tend to them is a perfect symbol for my Japanese American ancestors. They survived with great effort. They rebuilt their business and careers despite decades of prejudice. They went on to raise and provide for their children, who ultimately were able to blossom into educated and productive citizens. The flowers of Miraflores are a visual representation of our human spirit, our ability to face hardship, to survive, and to love.