In The Moment, Hiking Hawaiian Lava Fields

with 10 Comments

On the Big Island, we hiked on lava fields made by a volcano.

That’s such a simple sentence, isn’t it? We hiked. It happened to be that we walked on bumpy, rocky land that was formed by a volcano exploding more than once over the millennia. Hawaii was formed by this explosion.

But when you put all the facts, the words, together, it was beyond amazing to walk across these fields. We sweated, we paused, we hiked, we drank water, we took a hundred photographs, we were in awe.

This is the second time we’ve hiked lava fields. The first was in New Mexico one December and it was cold and there were piles of snow here and there. The difference between hiking then and hiking this time was as fundamental as the difference in our attire.

There is something that changes in us when we hike across what used to be hot molten lava fields.

Is it caused by the trail marked by rock cairn instead of by written signs? Maybe. We know that if we don’t keep looking ahead to see where the next cairn is, we can easily get distracted and wind up off the path. At the same time, we have to keep our eyes on our feet to watch where we’re putting them down. And of course, we want to constantly gaze upon the horizon and marvel at what we’re a part of for this short time.

I have a hard time relaxing into the moment. While I’m always willing to not be serious, to cackle-laugh until it hurts, I also have a hard time slowing my brain down so that I am truly here in the right now, in the present (moment and gift) of my life.

Alex is great at being in the here. I am frequently envious of this ability of his.

When we’re on these lava fields, I give up all pretense of having control over my future and I indulge myself in my presence. I know that what’s important is in with me right now: my husband; the God-given nature around us; and being thankful that I avoid breaking my ankle even though I walk as haphazardly around the terrain as I do in a grocery store.

I point out the striving bright green fern as it’s nestled into the one sole crack in a brick of lava. We take pictures of bright red berries as they cling to life in the black landscape. We watch how the smoke and steam from the boiling insides of the caldera change and sway in the breeze. We breathe in new smells when we enter a small copse of trees left standing after the last eruption.

Being right here, right now, eases my tired breath from me and fills me with joy and contentment. I vow to practice this on a daily basis…wondering all the while how I will do without a volcano to inspire me.

How in the Now are you?

Repost from 12/2013…always worth returning to the Big Island.

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10 Responses

  1. Donna Janke
    | Reply

    I’ve not hiked lava fields, but I’m sure it would be an interesting experience and a great way to relax into the moment, something that doesn’t come easily to me. It’s good to find things that can give that sense of calm and peace.
    Donna Janke recently posted..Pioneering Women at the Aviation MuseumMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      It truly does immerse you in the moment, Donna. Like you, I really struggle for that at times.

  2. Jeri
    | Reply

    I’ve hiked in lava fields outside of Bend, Oregon. It’s definitely an unearthly experience. I’m always amazed how much a landscape can spring back after being decimated.
    Jeri recently posted..#WriteTip: The Paradox of Perfectionism in Writing by Glynis JollyMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Ah, and there’s another place to add to the travel list, Jeri. It is neat to see the little plants springing out of the blackened earth. Mother Nature rocks.

  3. Emily
    | Reply

    This sounds so amazing! I would love to do this one day.

  4. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Hi Rose: I did hike into the volcano on Santorini when I was there, but didn’t have time to visit Volcanoes national park on the big Island last time I was there. That will change next Feb when I return leading my first-ever small group Chocolatour. Can’t wait!
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..wowed in Weggis, SwitzerlandMy Profile

  5. Sushmita
    | Reply

    Missed you in BHB last week hence visited your website directly to teleport to your world. Loved the post as always. 😀
    Sushmita recently posted..Get the guide to Maintaining your Blog Site!My Profile

  6. Seester
    | Reply

    Your blog is right along the lines of the bible study that our ladies group is doing right now “Wonderstruck.” It reminds me to be in the moment and be aware of the wonder that God has created around us. Cool beans.

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