A Moment to Catch Our Breath

The lava was moving fast, and in one day it grew 400 yards! That’s four football fields. There was no stopping it and by the end of the month of September it was predicted to eat up our town of Pahoa, Hawaii, and cross over the highway. There was lot of denial and panic.  I didn’t know how to feel. Then all of a sudden, just like that, the lava stopped its forward progression.

Whew! Deep breaths. The momentum had ended just enough for us to catch our breath and calmly analyze our current situation. It’s like when a pitcher releases a surprise curve ball and it spins too much and becomes foul, giving the batter an edge to prepare for the next pitch. We all know that the lava flow will eventually resume (because that’s what the volcanologist tell us) but this little reprieve was a godsend.

It is hard to face the truth that this lava will eventually spill into our town and not pretend otherwise. At times it seems like some old news I read a while back that surely must have resolved itself by now. I often think is this really happening or  is it some dream.

By now the various powers-that-be have also had more time to improve long ago forgotten roadways and reroute power lines. Other less tangible solutions have been entertained like making a bridge over the lava or bombing Puʻu ʻŌʻō to divert the flow.

Driving through town yesterday, I spotted the mayor of our Island and a camera crew. One quick look back in my rear view mirror I saw him run his hands over his hair to tame any rebel wisps that may prove later to be unsightly for the viewing audience.

While in town, I went to Island Naturals Food store to get supplies for a two-day vacation to Ohia Plantation House,  our twice-a-year retreat to Volcano, Hawaii. We hurriedly made the reservations, knowing that it may be sometime before we get to go away again–maybe years. The cashier made a comment about my choice of food and I said they were treats for our getaway. I explained almost whispered, “To forget about  you know for a while.” She nodded her head in recognition not wanting to say the word “lava” either.


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