Madame Pele’s Stick

My first visit to Volcano Park on the Big Island of Hawaii was in 2005. It was a clear, moonless night. The sky was filled with millions of stars. My friend and I walked hours to the edge of the cliff. We sat for hours watching molten lava flow into the ocean. It was magical!

In my pocket was a deep pink rose quartz crystal wand – a gift I had brought for Madame Pele. She is the Volcano Goddess of Fire who lives in Kilauea Crater. Standing near the edge, I threw the crystal towards the lava flow as hard as I could. I wanted to be sure it cleared the rocks below. In my mind, I saw Madame Pele’s hand reach out and catch the rose quartz crystal in mid-flight. She gazed upon it and had the most radiant smile. It touched my heart. We returned to the car after midnight. I thanked Madame Pele for giving us safe passage.

This same friend and I returned a second time in 2006. Unfortunately, park authorities had closed off the area next to cliff because the shelf was unstable. It was expected to fall into the ocean soon. Still, we wanted to see the lava even if it was at a distance.

While driving out to the Visitor Center, I asked Madame Pele to help me locate a walking stick. I wanted to dip one end of the stick into the lava and bring it back home with me. Looking out at the black lava fields, I wondered how I would ever find such a stick. There were no trees within sight. And even if there was, access to the lava flow was now blocked.

We started searching for a parking space along the side of the road and found only one available. It was the perfect size for our van. As my friend opened the passenger door, she told me to come quickly. I came around and asked her what was wrong. She pointed towards the ground. Her eyes were wide with amazement. Right below the door was a beautiful walking stick. It was bleached white like dry drift wood – the type you find on the beach. On one end, the wood was pitch black and charred from being stuck into the lava! I was speechless! I cried and thanked Madame Pele for this precious gift.

Now whenever I hold this stick, I think of my trek to the cliff that night. The sight and sound of hot lava flowing into the ocean. And more importantly, I see Madame Pele’s beautiful smile.