I've been lucky enough to live in some amazing places in my young life, but one very exotic place was Hawaii! I moved there when I was 7 years old. At the time I didn't know why, but the real reason was that my mother was preggers and was on unemployment, so she decided to live somewhere amazing while she was making money with no job. I think that's pretty smart.
Anyway, I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii in a county called Puna in a town called Pahoa. This town was pretty much one road with little meandering side streets. Our family owned a skate shop there right on the main road, and it was pretty much an everyday occurrence to bike over to the skatepark and skate for 45 minutes and then come home. I remember riding an adults bike (mind you, I'm 7) all around town and talking to people and going to peoples house and buying food at the gas station. What a different upbringing from now-a-days.
Well, Hawaii has an active volcano that is always erupting. Normally it flows down into the ocean near it, but for the first time in like 45 years, it has taken the long route across the island and is creating a separation on the island. And its flowing right through Pahoa. (read the update from today, Sept.15, 2014, here.)
The lava doesn't flow very fast, so families are able to evacuate. But they can't stop the lava. It will just flow right through the main road of Pahoa and destroy everything.
In Hawaii, there is a belief that a goddess named Pele is in charge of the Kilauea crater. There are many stories behind how Pele arrived at the island. Locals believe that you are in the presence of Pele when you pick up a woman hitchhiker and she asks you for a cigarette. I even had a friend who said that she encountered a woman hitchhicker that she didn't pick up. She drove a few miles and came to a stop sign. She looked to the corner, and the woman was there. She kept going, and when she got to the next stop, the woman was still there. Very creepy.
Anyway, locals are starting to pray to Pele and give her things in order to calm her down.
I haven't encountered a lot of loss in my young life (something I am extremely grateful for), but this is kind of my first loss. The thought that my life in Pahoa will not be something that I can ever fly back to and visit again. I can't walk on the same street ever again. My life in Pahoa will only be something that I experience in pictures and in my memories. I just have to know that everything happens for a reason.
I scrounged up some old pictures (thanks MySpace) of my life in Hawaii:
I hope you notice the turtle in the picture. ^ Not everyone catches that.
My love and thoughts go out to all the people in Hawaii right now. They are still getting over the hurricanes and now this. Hawaii is truly a powerful place.