I recently had the pleasure of my little sister and two of her adopted family coming to Hawaii for a visit. It was a wonderful time spent exploring this amazing island I live on and many of the best of the restaurants along the way. There was lots of love, laughter, friendship and appreciation for this tropical paradise.
The Big Island of Hawaii is a diverse island, with the landscape changing from one part of the island to the other. In five days we put just over 800 miles on my vehicle, which was a lot in some ways, with go go go every day for five days. In other ways, it was not many miles compared to how big this island is. It is about 350 miles around the island. We did not make a complete circular trip around the island, missing one stretch over on the west side, the tourist part of the island. Haha, how appropriate.
My little sister had been here with me during my early cancer treatments. She landed in Honolulu just as I was coming out of my last surgery in 2015 and was able to be my “escort” home. Then she came back over to Hawaii in 2016 and drove me into Hilo for daily radiation for five weeks. We had made the best of a bad situation, with the help of the Universe and our older sister helping with the financing.
We had rented a little place down along the Red Road in the Puna District. This created a 40 mile drive, one way, into town Monday through Friday. The first fifteen plus miles were along the rugged cliffs off the Eastern coast, where we would stop a couple of times for “ocean therapy”. Cruising along that beautiful stretch of road is part of what made my daily trips in for radiation bearable. It allowed me to get into that place of acceptance and grace to walk the path of a radiation patient. Something I very much DID NOT want to do.
This area of the island was the epicenter of the 2018 volcano eruption. It was an interesting healing experience to cruise the roads in the area, reflecting on the changes that had happened to the land, the people who lived there, and the changes that had happened in our own lives. There were a lot of WOWs, both at what we were seeing, and on an interpersonal level as well, recognizing change, growth, persistence, life.
We cruised the subdivision where the eruption had started, going down to the end of the road where the lava stands twenty to thirty feet tall. We then drove to the end of each of the roads that all used to be connected, creating routes forming circles and loops through the jungle, along the ocean, to the beach parks, through magnificent mango groves, to stop and sit under the coconut trees along the cliffs by the ocean. All of our favorite roads had been altered by the dance of Pele through the eastern rift zone during the 2018 eruption of the Kiluea Volcano. I have made these journeys by myself numerous times in the past three years, healing the PTSD, tears freely flowing at first, throat tight, heart heavy with grief for what was that will be no more. Traveling these roads that end in a mound of lava, that used to be all connected and sustaining the community spirit of the road road. I believe that spirit is still there for those that were able to stick it out, many people were forced to leave or relocate. For me, the eruption changed my life and took me in a different direction. Away from the community of the Red Road and into a new life where I am authentically living my purpose, again and still resilient.