As anyone who has been to Hawaii knows, we’ve had a continuous lava flow since January 3, 1983.
Thatâ€™s 28 years of awesome fiery beauty. Anyone knowing anything about our culture also knows that Madame Pele is the reason. The beautiful goddess brings new life to our islands daily. She never tires. If you close your eyes, you can see her playing with her fiery balls of newly formed earth. Her current project being Loâ€™ihi Seamount.
Scientists say that we may see the peaks of this island break through the surface of the Pacific Ocean in a hundred years or so
Many kama hele travelers to our Big Island have been told not to take lava from the island or some pilikia (unwanted/harmful) will happen to you. A belief has been ingrained into a lot of people. There is a book with the stories of the pain kama hele suffer upon returning back to their home with their souvenirs only to return them immediately because of events experienced once they reached home.
Yes, this makes a great tale to fascinate and scare any kama hele, but letâ€™s really feel this. Madame Pele is creating lava 24/7. She sits atop Kilauea Crater creating her fiery virgin soil. She plays with her lavaâ€”never running out. Do you think she would mind you taking a piece of it home? Are you thinking she doesnâ€™t have enough to share with others? For goodness sake, sheâ€™s making a whole island for us. Of course she shares.
There are different stories describing how this myth came to be. The one that makes me giggle (and makes the most sense to me) is the one of the tour bus driver telling this tale to his flock because, back in the day, he had to clean his own bus. Lava is black, crumbly soil and gets into every nook and cranny once it is stepped on by tourists getting on and off the bus. Imagine how time intensive cleaning would have been.
Today this story is being told (in part) because of the strong need of the local people to have the kama hele hoâ€™ihi (respect) the land and the people. When telling this story, we are asking you to come here with hoâ€™ihi and reverence for the land and the people. Come, visit, we are willing to share our aloha spiritâ€”and we have a lot to give.
We are an island people. We know our roots. We know our kuâ€™auhau (family history). We know our kupuna (grandparents and elders).Â We know how to live and survive on an island. Ask and weâ€™ll teach you. Need lava for your garden back home? Would love a beautiful piece of lava to place in your hearth by the fire that warms your hale (home) and ohana (family)? We gladly share. Just ask, â€œShe who shapes the sacred landâ€â€”Pelehonuamea.