Aloha from Kailua-Kona.
Volcanoes created Big Island in Hawaii, and I love Big Island. So going to the source of this creation yesterday (22nd March) was a huge buzz.
As a sea lover, I’m often exposed to – and acutely aware of – the powerfully elemental and unpredictable forces of nature. That said, I’ve never visited anything on quite this scale – earth’s most active volcano, Kilauea.
Seeing Earth’s cauldron at work, melting rock into molten lava – at +2000 degrees – easier than we can boil the kettle for tea, provokes a deeply visceral reaction. Seeing land being made in front of your very eyes certainly changes your perception of the world – and your place in it. It makes you at once feel insignificant, pathetic really;in another way, it gives you a sense of place in the greater order of planetary things – a quite stellar, intergalactic feeling.
Just as we watch steam plumes seethe out of ground, smoke belch out of a lava lake 2 miles below the surface of the crater, and melting Earth crust generate toasty-looking glow, under the water to the south a new volcano is rising out of the ocean to grow Big Island yet further. The arrival is hardly imminent, by human standards – estimates range from 5,000 to 100,000 years. What will Earth be like then? Will tourists still be standing at the crater rim saluting the great goddess, Pele, like the ancient islanders did, by shouting “Aloha Pele! “? Will the machines have turned against us or will be ruled by lizard people from another dimension? We we still be here to see any of these awesome, natural forces at work?
I hope so, and I hope my kids (if they ever materialise) and future generations get to witness this truly stunning spectacle. And I hope you do, too.