I don’t swim, hate to get wet, and think palm trees look ridiculous. But I love mountains, flowers, waterfalls, local histories, and legends. Plus Hawaii was the only of the 50 states that I’d never visited. And the volcanoes sounded interesting. So when Doug had a meeting in Hawaii, I tagged along.
The place was so beautiful, you could be blindfolded and still take gorgeous pictures of it. Just wave your camera around and hit the shutter at random. Doug thought I’d be disappointed that there was no lava flowing, but ground that was hot underfoot, steam rising eerily out of it, — well, that was enough excitement for me. They say Pele, the Goddess of Volcanos, goes where she wants, and when she does there’s nothing for it but to get out of her way. She is the hot red flowing lava; she created the chain of islands that are the State of Hawaii today. She fights with the Rainforest God, and they barge in on each other all the time. I could see all around me that this was true.
These are some of the details at the heart and history of the Hawaiian people, and I don’t know nearly enough of their traditions to treat them properly. But look at us – look at people: no fur, no fangs, no claws. We wouldn’t have survived anywhere except in a climate like Hawaii’s, however far away it was from Pele’s islands: comfortable day and night all year long; fur not necessary; food falling from the trees. But it was only after we learned to handle fire and make clothes and tools and canoes and spread all over the world, that people made it to Hawaii, finding again the conditions that gave us all our start.