2 am.

Time to wake up and drive 2 hours to get to the park. Music playing over the speakers. Stars. Millions. Nay trillions. Maybe more. The possibilities. Other life forms existing far far away from us? Excited. But also a bit sad. We may never know. At least not during this life time. Or... maybe something spectacularly miraculous could happen..

Drifting in and out of a doze in the backseat.

The car is like a cocoon. Just the three of us exist in this space. The whole outside world is far far away.

I watch my thoughts drift...

Thinking of various joyous moments of my life. My family features prominently. My parents and siblings. My husband and my sons.

The corners of my mouth automatically turn slightly upward. That calm, enigmatic, serene smile seen on the faces of Mona Lisa...and Buddha. And sages of the past. Saying..... we know the secret to joy. Contentment. Happiness. Equanimity.

It is an inside job.

But sometimes it takes standing outside. Under a sky jam packed with stars. Twinkling. Shooting by.

Mesmerizing. Seductive. Beckoning. Laughing at my oh-so-tiny worries in the larger scheme of the universe.

We enter the park. I know exactly where the trailhead is. We bundle up. Getting out of the car I immediately feel the warm invitation of Goddess Pele. It's a perfect 54°. The night sky twinkles like I have never noticed before. Not a single cloud.

I fall to my knees. Ask for blessings. Ask for permission to tread this sacred land. And I realize a tear or two has escaped.

You know that mix of emotions? Just no words can describe them? And one mustn't even try? Yup. That.

We walk in the darkness. Quietly. Nothing needs to be said. Just experienced. Soaking it all in. Halfway there, we see the glow. The orangish gold smoke.

She is dancing. We get to the edge of the ledge. There's only a couple of people there. And I gasp.

I had (almost) forgotten the sensations that overcome me whenever I see Her. She is glowing. Casual rivulets of fiery lava make their own paths. Carving their signature on the surface of Mother Earth. Smoke bellowing.

OMG. There is a hush.


A tiny but mighty word. We stand and watch...for what seems like eternity. Watch through binoculars. At least my eyes can get as close as possible!!!

And a part of me wants to take a leap. Right into the crater. Feel the warmth of the fire. Get close. Merge with glorious Pele.

It is unbearable. The surge of joy. Starting in my toes. And leaping like the flames inside the crater, until my whole body is immersed in the warmth.

And for one miniscule moment, I do merge with the Goddess of fire and brim. I touch that place inside of me that recognizes non duality.

It is more powerful than any meditation on my cushion.

Time to leave. But another shift has occurred, inside. Always shifting. Ever changing.

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The world can be a better place. It is possible. I feel it in my bones. I believe that I was placed on this Earth and given all the gifts and opportunities I have been blessed with, in order to create