It had been a long, hot day and I was ready for the heat to subside. Now, the sun was setting behind a stretch of jungle palm, ohia and mango trees, and as the ambrosial hour set in, darkness allowed for greater visibility of an unusual light off in the distant northern sky. This light — glowing red and brown and golden — gives the impression of a city that is burning. It is light reflected from a brush fire caused by a river of lava flowing down our mountain.
My current home is the Big Island of Hawaii, and like many other volcanoes right now on planet Earth, our Kilauea volcano is active and causing a bit of a stir. Unlike flows for the past couple of decades, where we have been able to walk out to the rivers of lava in the middle of nowhere and appreciate the grace, beauty and power of a new earth being born, this flow is heading straight for our small, humble town of Pahoa, an old western-style town of wooden, slanted boardwalks and a smattering of restaurants and shops.