On the Big Island, we hiked on lava fields made by a volcano.

That’s such a simple sentence, isn’t it? We hiked. It happened to be that we walked on bumpy, rocky land that was formed by a volcano exploding more than once over the millennia. Hawaii was formed by this explosion.

But when you put all the facts, the words, together, it was beyond amazing to walk across these fields. We sweated, we paused, we hiked, we drank water, we took a hundred photographs, we were in awe.

This is the second time we’ve hiked lava fields. The first was in New Mexico one December and it was cold and there were piles of snow here and there. The difference between hiking then and hiking this time was as fundamental as the difference in our attire.

vista of lava fields with spots of greenery in HawaiiThere is something that changes in us when we hike across what used to be hot molten lava fields.

Is it caused by the trail marked by rock cairn instead of by written signs? Maybe. We know that if we don’t keep looking ahead to see where the next cairn is, we can easily get distracted and wind up off the path. At the same time, we have to keep our eyes on our feet to watch where we’re putting them down. And of course, we want to constantly gaze upon the horizon and marvel at what we’re a part of for this short time.

I have a hard time relaxing into the moment. While I’m always willing to not be serious, to cackle-laugh until it hurts, I also have a hard time slowing my brain down so that I am truly here in the right now, in the present (moment and gift) of my life.

Alex is great at being in the here. I am frequently envious of this ability of his.

Willfully losing control

When we’re on these lava fields, I give up all pretense of having control over my future and I indulge myself in my presence. I know that what’s important is in with me right now: my husband; the God-given nature around us; and being thankful that I avoid breaking my ankle even though I walk as haphazardly around the terrain as I do in a grocery store.

I point out the striving bright green fern as it’s nestled into the one sole crack in a brick of lava. We take pictures of bright red berries as they cling to life in the black landscape. We watch how the smoke and steam from the boiling insides of the caldera change and sway in the breeze. We breathe in new smells when we enter a small copse of trees left standing after the last eruption.

Being right here, right now, eases my tired breath from me and fills me with joy and contentment. I vow to practice this on a daily basis … wondering all the while how I will do without a volcano to inspire me.

How in the Now are you?

It’s always worth returning to the Big Island.

There is something that changes in us when we hike across what used to be hot molten lava fields. Click To Tweet