Since it is still fresh in my mind - I want to continue discussing my journeys last weekend - in particualr the trip to the Flowing Lava. In order the get to the lava, you have to traverse about 5 miles of hardened lava fields - essentially jagged rocks which are black and after nightfall, everything is Black - as in Pitch Black - since hawaii is island things to get darker at night and you can really see the starts - when I was living on top of Mauna Kea - the highest point in Hawaii - we literally saw more Stars than Sky. And we saw so many "Shooting Stars" - which are actually meteorites - disintegrating as they burn from the friction of the earth's atmosphere - it happens alot more than one thinks - but because of pollution, and ambient light, you can't see them.
But back to my point about the darkness - in order to make a journey over terrain like that over treacherous terrain you not only need good stamina and a good pair of shoes, you need LIGHT!! Something which my friend Viraya and i did not have - except her small cellphone which was about to die. In my experience in all the journeys I have made, those of you who know me well - I never plan or if I do plan it is always minimal, I always do things on impulse and spur of the moment and let one incident dictate the next. Very often I have not had a place to stay, and then more often than not someone offers me shelter e.g. Ian Gonazaga and Nino Avarquez in Cebu, all my frens in Manila, and now Laura, Jane and Doug Dierenfield here in Hawaii. So thus nature fills the void.
In scientific terms, it's called Le Chatelier's Principle: objects move from areas of high concentration to low concentration until a state of equilibirum is reached. Sort of like a socialist way of dealing with natural void and excess. But It's interesting how so many things can always be broken down into physics.The case was true again last saturday hiking with just a small cellfone light across the lava fields - my first thought was to offer to buy one of the people's lights as they made their way back to their cars. But me being the shy introverted person I am, was too ashamed to ask and we continued forward stumbling the whole way. But as it has always happened in the past we met some good samaritans along the way. A couple visiting from the mainland saw us stumbling and gave us not just one but 2 flashlights and spare batteries!! - since they had hiked out during the daytime, they only needed lights one way. It's because of people like this - guardian angels - I still believe in the goodness of people - this is a messed up world with all the crime, hatred, racism, holy wars, political wars, economic wars, but I still believe that humans are inherently kind. All of us in this world are interconnected - Six Degrees of Separation they say - but something I learned from listening to Guru Joseph Campbell - is that not only are we interconnected - but even moreso interdependent!! Case in point - look at how the world rallied around south east asia for the Tsunami. Steven Covey - the author of the 7 Habits of highly effective people used to say that your area of concern should always be as large or greater than your area of influence - meaning that we should always care about more than what we can actually do.
The last thought I'll end with is another quote from the Great Dr Rob Gilbert. We have to be carefull when we speak - the vocabulary we choose - because in the end, that is all that people hear, and that is how you are perceived. In particular the words "always" and "never" Very seldom do those words hold true. No one is ever ALWAYS right all the time. And very often can you NEVER accomplish something. But the one instance where you can use the word ALWAYS is this: "Kindness always works" I never got the names of the couple who helped us that dark night, but I will forever appreciate their kindness - and I thank them wherever they are. I only hope I can pay that kindness forward. Till next time - much aloha and mahalo :)