We were exhausted, returning from many miles of a harsh hike across uncharted and unmapped terrain. Exhausted but happy, earlier that afternoon I had fulfilled my childhood dream.
|Lava flows near the border of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Kalapana Gardens Subdivision.|
We got into touching distance with red-hot flowing lava. For me it was a life-changing experience, I felt the deep heat permeating my entire body down to every bone; we saw the slow oozing movement of dark glowing honey-like rock. We observed the newest layers of our planet being born. On our way back, a short shower stretched up a full arc of rainbow above the barren lava fields watering the first fern seedlings in older cracks.
|Rainbow over the lava fields beneath pali (steep slope) with few kipukas (remaining islands of vegetation).|
From my personal experience I know why theory of Evolution came into being on volcanic islands. They inspire awe, curiosity and imagination.
“You are trespassing, The fine is five hundred bucks each.” The American reality was not going away. But it could hardly be any more surreal. What trespassing? We spent a full day hiking across barren undeveloped lava fields. If there used to be any private claims, they were buried under layers upon layers of new featureless lava rock. What trespassing? Some of the land wasn’t there just days ago, even according to my GPS and cellphone Google maps we walked on sea. The oldest lava was about two decades old. What trespassing in the land which has just been born? Of course the land belongs to God!
Don’t worry, I did not argue metaphysics with a person in the uniform. Instead I used my best respectful tone remembering my mother’s advice about officers; “Yes officer, no officer, so sorry officer, never again officer ...”, apologetic, respectful. It paid off, we were let go, forgiven the hefty fine. But even this unpleasant absurd encounter became part of our unforgettable transformative experience. It formed a dual experience carved in my memory; an awe of a red-hot flowing rock forming new land in front of our eyes and under the rainbow arch, and the utterly absurd individualistic, idolatrous(!) ownership of land and life.
This Sunday we celebrate Evolution Sunday. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution will open our eyes to miracles of nature. Biblical hymns of Creation will help us question the idolatry of ownership and possession. Darwin and Bible, science and Faith, they can complement and enrich each other.
|An evening view of Kilauea Caldera with Halema'uma'u Crater and fumes rising from a lava lake.|