Last night we arrived in Kona, on the dry side of the big island of Hawai’i. We overnighted there and woke early in the morning for a swim in crystal clear waters at Hapuna Beach. About 9am we hit the road, taking the Saddle Road over the island between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the twin 13,000+ volcanoes on this island. As you crest the top of the pass between them, the clouds coming up from Hilo-side start flying overhead, and rain showers start. We drove down to Hilo and then back up the south flank of Mauna Loa to Kilauea and Halema’uma’u, the active crater in Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is the home place of Pele, the goddess of creation and tonight Tim and Andrea – one of our colleagues – and I drove to the rim where, in the dark and drizzle, the plume of steam was clearly seen, illuminated from above by a bright quarter moon and below by the lava glowing in the crater.
Surrounded by earth, fire, air and water, all of the elements appeared. A very powerful synthesis of the earth being born below our feet, beneath an ancient sky that in these parts of the world is the map for navigating. We are wrapped in time, treated to a window on the liquid centre of our planet, standing on ground that is emergent and compelling. The crater began to hold the archetype of the centre of our gathering – a purpose that burns regardless, that steams and smokes and is visible in its production but not in its source. A purpose that defines the form that holds it. It became clear to us tonight the way in which this gathering, this purpose and intention is to be hosted: in a deep container that can hold the fire of creation and let itself be moulded by whatever flows out.
This is not easy work and there are few roadmaps for doing it. But to prepare by sitting with Halema’uma’u is a great teaching, and we haven’t even begun hearing the Hawaiian perspective on all of this.
Work is afoot. Tomorrow participants arrive and we begin to welcome them in, prepare our space and ready ourselves for ceremony and practice. We are ambitiously pursuing the small openings that invite the transcendence of world views that have been at conflict for centuries. To see what the next level of human consciousness could be if we married indigenous wisdom and wester wisdom. If we understood each other and invited all to join in the space in the middle. What would we learn about values? What would our relationship to the earth be? What IS a community of leadership based on a platform of reverence and what could such a community do?
Like the stea, plume