My Life In Paradise :: Growing up on a volcano

From ten thousand feet the wind keeps the bird afloat as if she is resting on the top of the water.  She flaps her wings now and again to keep the momentum.  Blue sky above and ocean upon ocean below. 

She tucks her wings and dips her head as she decides to free fall toward the waters.  Now she picks up speed and the smell of salt drifts upward.  The air becomes moist and off in the distance an island rises from the vastness that is the Pacific.

The bird banks left towards land where the cliffs of the east of the island crash into the water as the waves relentlessly pound the rocky shores.  Over the cliffs down into the valley where the waterfalls cut into the emerald mountainside.  Now she is flapping her wings hard and dancing on air while the trade wind whips in off the coast.  

Suddenly she soars over fields.  Macadamia nut trees in neat rows as far as the eye can see.  The trees are young, maybe planted a year ago. The winged creature comes to rest on the branch of one of these trees.  Up in the foothills of the remnants of an ancient lava flow she sits quietly catching her breath. 

Through the fields the sound of the wind is joined with the sound of children.  Three little girls march in a single file line through the rows of trees.  Their hair is haphazard and tangled from the wind, feet bare so toes can wiggle in the red dirt.  As they march along they pick nuts and add them to a growing collection in the turned up bottom of their shirt used as a makeshift basket.  They parade through the trees, speaking  a secret sister-language of giggling.  

From up on the hill the bird sees this scene and cocks her head.  Three little girls in a field on this island.  She takes another glance, blinks her eyes and takes to the air again.

The sound of the daughters behind her, the white feathers stroke the air as the bird heads down the valley and over the fields of sugar cane.  A fire burns a field and the cane harvesters sweat as the sun beats down.  The bird climbs higher and higher as the cane fields become like a green and red patchwork quilt.  The dormant volcano stands quietly ahead gaurding this Valley Isle like a centry of the ocean.  Higher and higher the bird soars towards the summit.  The air cools and thins and the slopes of this mountain are dotted with the purple jacaranda blooming in bursts.

Once the bird reaches the highest peak she plummets into the depths of the volcano that looms down below like a crater of the moon.  Black lava sand sparkles in the sunlight and red rock juts out of the cliffs.  A family of Nene geese waddle past the majestic Silversword plants. This crater was the womb of the island millennia ago.  From it's boiling cauldron came liquid rock that destroyed everything in it's path.  Before there were coconut trees swaying in the breeze, before there were Maina birds pecking at geckos there was this volcano.  Before there were ancient peoples from a mysterious land that boarded their outrigger canoes to care for this mystical place and before there were three little girls picking macadamia nuts in the field there was Haleakala. 

Paradise was born from her raging, fiery wrath.  

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