Hawaii, 1983: The small community of Royal Gardens had sixteen homes destroyed by Mount Kilauea’s eruption and lava flow. Royal Gardens no longer exists. Only the mountain.
After destroying more homes in other communities, as well as the town of Kalapana, the lava flow shifted out to sea. But, in April of 1990, lava poured out of the mountain for almost a year, burying the town in 85 feet of volcanic rock. Kalapana is gone. The mountain is alive and well.
Crazy enough, a small subdivision they named “Kalapana Gardens” was erected on top of the old Kalapana. But, in 2011, Mount Kilauea destroyed a home in that neighborhood as well.
Some people don’t believe in mountains.
For two years, I lived in an apartment just on the east side of the Appalachian Mountains. A beautiful area in upstate Pennsylvania. But, in the winter, the sun would set below the mountain in the late afternoon and it was like someone flipped off the light switch. I like the night, but at 4:30?
Before that, I grew up in inner-city Philadelphia. Quite arguably, the worst neighborhood in the whole city and if you were observant, you could see it was going in the wrong direction. The glacier was breaking off and it was falling fast. Some neighbors were in denial. Some wanted to stay and fight, while others were just stubborn.
Some people want to move mountains.
At the beach, we set up our blanket, a cooler, a speaker, and maybe an umbrella. This is our spot. Then, the first strong wave of the incoming tide touches our blanket.
We can’t move oceans.
The Mountain always wins, as well it should and for reasons we may not be able to understand, nor should we. Metaphorically and/or literally speaking, the “mountain” is neither for us, nor is it against us. It just is. Fighting against it, ignoring its power, or denying the inevitable, is quite foolish.
We can embrace its existence or we can climb it, go around it, and move away from it, but we can’t move it. A life of trying is a miserable, losing endeavor.
Don’t move mountains. Move.
Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash