A crinklely-crunch sound emerges as the bottom of the sole of my shoe. It comes from making contact with the crystalized molten lava. The lava’s appearance is like holey like a sponge. The weight of it is seemingly disproportionate to its darkened facade. Sturdy as a rock though it cracks under unbalanced pressure.
This monochromatic landscape camouflages the cairns (some refer to them as ahu*) marking the trail. Cairns are placed along a path, some built up high and others lower in stature, so when you stand at one you can easily see the next as your guide where to step next. However, on this footpath, the marker’s made of broken up pieces of the dried lava blend into the background of the darken lava scene. Sometimes the vantage point is blocked by the once flowing lava. which is now like waves that rise and fall frozen in time. Being at a low-point of the terrain’swavecan prevent one’s view of where to move towards the next marker. So often, I pause along the trail to assess my next move.
After two and half miles of navigation I make it to the crater’s edge. A huge sunken hole that once rise up as far as it has dropped. I turn to return.
I follow the cairns for several moments till they seem to completely disappear. Pausing in the middle of this vast land, where I had seen no one for almost two hours, I know I will have to step out on faith. Out loud I speak a mantra, one energetically correlated to removing obstacles, it shifts any uncertainty trying to surface… then I choose the next step. Moving forward I scan the unicolored panorama as I keep a lookout for towering guidepost. After several moments of motion, I re-direct my course knowing I should have seen something by now. I follow this new direction for several more steps continuing to engage an energy of assurance that soon the path will become clear. Several steps later, I finally spy a cairn affirming the direction of return.
Deep inside a familiar wave of assurance streams through me. It reminds me of the obvious things, as such an experience can do when faced with uncertainty. Mostly, it summons me to consider a shift of my internal landscape. There are places where I doubt myself about things. Some I have struggled to manifest over the last decade of life. Sometimes I compare myself to others who have taken more traditional paths with their lives. And when I attempt to follow a path akin to their way of being and doing, I pretty much find myself frustrated, disappointed, completely uncomfortable, and very aware I am lying to myself.
Standing out on the lava bed with no one or no thing to provide direction I did not lose faith that I would find my way. If a glimpse of uncertainty tires to surface I know exactly what to do to comfort it when out there.
So now I ask myself, can I keep this same faith in other visions emerging (as I spoke about in the last blog)? Those uniquely materializing inspirations and notions welling up from what feels like divine intervention, just like that moment on the trail where there was no visible guidance…just deep faith? Can I value and honor the discernment of direction within? Can I comfort the inner world? So here the coach, coaches herself to consider how will I keep this faith gathered on the lava bed alive?
*“The stacking of stones—one on top of the other—is not a traditional practice. Hawaiians did build ahu(altars) or cairns for ceremonial purposes and as markers, but they tended to be more substantial and carefully constructed,” says Dr. Windy McElroy – hawaiimagazine.com