SNAPSHOTS – HAWAII
SEPT 26 / OCT 6
Hilo Aiport. We descend from the plane into warm, humid air. It is late dusk, palm trees black cut outs against a lowering sky. A light mist caresses our skin., but it is 80 degrees F. We will learn that it rains frequently on this side of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Linda pulls up in front of this intimate, friendly little airport, gets out of her car, and circles us with leis. Their aroma fills the car; we feel we really are in the iland of Aloha. We can’t see much, as it is dark, just feel the undulating road to her house in Paradise Park, a development chopped out of the dense, surrounding tropical brush. Her house is plantation style, with a veranda in front to sit and sip your sundowner and watch geckos scurry across the railings. Inside it is welcoming and interesting, as her homes always are.
In the daylight Paradise Park is a riot of green, dotted with flowers, orange, yellow, white. I expect to see triceratops emerge any minute. The driveway to Linda’s house is lined with colorful tropical plants whose names I can’t pronounce, planted carefully by Linda and her son, Geordan. This morning we walk to the sea along crushed black lava rock to see the waves breaking against black boulders.
Later, we drive through gorgeous scenery, all green, all flowering, to see Rainbow Falls, a cascade rushing down a cliff through fern-lined boulders, and the Boiling Pots, where the river foams through and around rocks and gullies.
ALONG THE RED ROAD
We travel on a road red with the iron so recently emerged from beneath the earth, a road lined with its complementary greens – lime, sage, Kelly, dark, pale. We picnic on a spit of land in Mackenzie State Park (I can pronounce this one) while we watch the sea pound relentlessly against the black rocks below. The beaches here are black,too. Later, we lie cradled in a pool heated by the volcano itself, warmed by the benign aspect of the Mother Pele.
THE VOLCANO – KILAUEA
As we ascend toward Hawai’I Volcanoes National Park, the landscape becomes more lush and dense, the ferns and trees more imposing. We enter the park and drive toward the lava flows. We are not allowed to go to where hot lava is flowing at this time. It is too dangerous, the ranger says.
We are more than content to see the acres of black rock, the newest part of the planet, stretching in sculptured billows as far as we can see. The sky is white with thin, sulpherous cloud. It is a black and white world, newly born from the raging heat at the heart of the earth, pulsing with the dark secrets of its birth. It glints with the white energy of the sun, and the sea already gnaws its edges.
- Santa Ana High School