Before the Beginning of Time


It took me a couple of weeks after returning home from Hawaii to grasp what really happened on the islands. Each day was filled with various activities, bringing something new to every day. One thing that has stood above all adventures was the visit to the National Volcanic Park.

Kilauea Volcanic Crater

Kilauea Volcanic Crater under the Starry Sky (Photo Credit: T. F.)

Culture, history, food and natural beauty are usual aspects of travelling that one is exposed on a vacation, but never before has it happened to me that I got a sense of what really this planet was before the beginning of time. On one very memorable evening, my friends and I drove to the end of the highway in the National Volcanic Park of the Big Island of Hawaii. When the paved road ended, we continued journey on bicycles surrounded with complete darkness that was only disrupted by our headlamps and flashlights of other tourists. After passing three road barricades and several warning signs, we arrived to the point where even the dirt road ended. From here onward, it was on foot across freshly cooled lava rocks to that one point in the distance which was glowing brightly. Even in darkness, it was difficult not to spot the unusual beauty of surrounding. Lava rock was glistening with silver luster, texturized on the surface in beautiful extraterrestrial formations. At certain spots, rock surface was still cooling off, crunching underneath my footsteps as my shoes occasional stuck to it as they would to fresh asphalt. The air started to warm up and thicken with tar as the distant glow grew closer. We finally reached the point where silence around us was disrupted, the air became too thick, suffocating and warm, and we couldn’t go farther. Standing on the coastal edge less than 30 m from us, lava was flowing into the Pacific Ocean setting off gasses and flying rocks as it clashed with waves and started to cool off. This was the collision of the mightiest natural forces one could ever witness – the constant mythical battle between fire and water.

In this very moment, I realized that this is how it was way back before the beginning of time, way back before dinosaurs walked on earth. It was only water, air and molten lava. Visiting this particular spot was enough for anyone to fully understand how earth came about to be.  But this particular spot was also a place of hope. Even amongst this barren, uninviting land there were pockets in which fern started to grow symbolically representing light in the darkness, hope in despair and revival after destruction. If we could, we would have stayed longer in the park, but the park was closing for the night. Not to compromise our safety further, we headed towards the red, rising full moon with lava flow behind us – a sight nearly too surreal to be true.


Full Moon Rising over the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Photo Credit: T.F.)



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