Do you ever dream about flying? It’s my favorite fantasy! If a helicopter spin over Hawaii is in your future, GO BLUE (Blue Hawaiian). They’ve won just about every award there is to win, and now I know why! You can’t request a certain seat, as everything is arranged by weight(down to the last ounce…I had to leave my scarf behind!), but Alan and I were blessed with truly birds’ eye views in front beside the pilot. The helicopter runway was a rickety-looking stretch in the midst of volcanic rubble on the northwest side of the Big Island, but we lifted off without a hitch (string on the antennae is the pilot’s windsock) and were flying like birds above Saddle Road in no time. As we learned, Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago—bigger than all the other islands combined. The Big Island is graced with 266 miles of stunning coastline including beaches strewn with white coral and black volcanic rocks, as well as golden, white, black and green sand beaches. The Big Island is 4028 sq.mi, which is about the size of the state of Connecticut
(population 3.6 million), but it has a population smaller than the city of Grand Rapids, MI where I live! (population 200,000). Despite its relative smallness, Hawaii’s Big Island is a self-contained world of beauty and diversity. Eight of the world’s 13 ecosystems are represented on the Big Island, and over 90% of the flora and fauna is endemic (native to the island), which is the highest rate in the world, and gives Hawaii the honor of having the world’s most unique collection of life! Our helicopter tour gave us a breathtaking look at many of those ecosystems! We left the volcanic ash and desert dryness of the northwestern coastal area behind and watched the landscape change from black to brown in minutes. Soon brown was giving way to green as we headed toward the eastern side. Here is a series of lava domes, which aren’t at all obvious when you drive. Heading toward the east coast, we flew over Parker Ranch. Spread over 250,000 acres, Parker Ranch ranks as one of the world’s largest.From the air, it’s easy to see the patterns created by ancient lava flows, and the patterns of growth over lava flows from recent history…as well as barren brownness and the stark deadness of the earth as yet unhealed from recent laval wounds. Vog (volcanic gasses that look like smog) made it hard to see the lush growth where forests have recovered (hundreds of years hence),but you can still see patterns running down the mountainsides! From there, our pilot took us to see Kilauea Volcanowhich has been continually erupting since 1983,and still has lava flowing down the mountainsides today. Inside the West Gap Crater there is a large lava lake which slowly ebbs and flows. In this photo you can see streams of magma and lava spewing up like a fountain. There is a research lab perked precariously close to the edge of West Gap Crater, but we flew low enough to reach the edge of my comfort zone! 🙂(This super close up is a photo of a photo from the Visitor’s Center.) After seeing the red glow under the lava,
I was happy to leave the super shots to the professionals! A photographer who works for National Geographic said on his trek it felt like he was walking on chewing gum, and then he realized his boots were melting! He survived, but not without a lot of pain. Flying overhead suited me just fine! (Maybe that’s why my pictures don’t come out in National Geographic!) At the edges of creeping lava flows, all the trees are being enveloped and burned.The movement is so slow that I couldn’t detect its creep, but the smoke and fumes were ghastly and pollute the entire island at times.How true it is that where there’s smoke, there’s sure to be fire!How about you and me? Ever feel like a volcano inside?
Ever find yourself smoldering or erupting?I definitely have. In myself, I haven’t had the where-with-all to overcome all the problems that have caused me to boil over with anger at times. According to native Hawaiian legend, a goddess, Pelehonuamea, lives inside Kilauea Volcano, and when she becomes angry, the volcano erupts. As evidence of her existence, they find strands of her hair on the mountainside, and some people worship her, leaving flowers to appease her anger. Regardless of your thoughts on Pele, if you’re feeling as unable to control
your anger as an Hawaiian goddess, I’d like to offer you another option.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And, they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25) Let the Lord heal; He is able.
(I took all the photographs on our recent trip to the Big Island, January, 2016.)