In the Lava Flow

It’s hard not to become a lava addict when lava is going to cover your town and is going to change your life in the moment.  I wait each day for the new flow maps and the civil defense message telling me how fast it’s moving, how wide it is, its current location and its expected targets. I study the maps like a true volcanologist trying to see what buildings might be saved and which ones will soon be indistinguishable from molten rock.

When lava is heading to destroy ones town, its hard to focus on where it will go next. Before it was oozing its way into town, everyone thought it was going to devastate Kaohe Homesteads, a subdivision just on the outskirts of town. However, the lava bypassed Kaohe and directed its attention to my town Pahoa, Hawaii.  So far, the lava flow has not burned one building and continues to creep along a forest reserve and undeveloped land.

I’m not sure if panic has set in, but the minute that lava rolls over its first building things are going to get even more interesting.

There has been a bit of fear mongering in the social media like pictures being passed off as current when they are of other lavishly flowing lava long since extinguished or stories of being trapped in a kīpuka exacerbated by the lack of available roads out–especially since the projected lava path goes over route 130. I feel, a little bit of arousing public fear is not necessarily a bad thing.

When lava is threatening to roll over your grocery store, gas station and cut off the main access road, a little bit of fear is needed. Some brooming is needed to escort those out who are in no way prepared to do without the routines and conveniences established by modern day living. It will make things much easier for those of us who are.

In order for me to stay focused on things that matter to my little farm, I go to work early in the morning and try not to think too much about lava. I work in my garden, with the farm animals and in the apiary. It comforts me to tend and care for them. My husband too grounds me and prevents me from jumping in my truck and driving to shop for everything I feel I might need for the next year or so. I love that he worries so little. It brings me down from the place of panic to peace.

I know we can do this because we have been preparing for this for years. It may surprise you as much as it surprises me. It’s like Noah building his arc before the storm. We have been working towards sustainability for 10 years whether we knew it at first or not. This year really marks our jump from relying on outside sources for food to growing, harvesting and preparing our own.

That was the final leap of faith that we took since we both quit our lives on the mainland and moved to an off-the-grid farm in Hawaii. We got this.

I will try and keep up this blog and share our experience with you dear reader. I know that soon I may not be able to communicate online or by cell phone for a bit but I have faith that AT&T will not desert us for long.


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