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Article: There's A Volcano In My Backyard!

Fissure 8 has been quiet for more than fifty days now. Since the lava stopped flowing, residents have started moving back to Leilani Estates. Skip and I are among those residents planning to return. We are waiting another final week in Waimea just to be sure Pele, the fire goddess, has really gone back to sleep.  I return to my home with mixed feelings. First of all, I'm are overjoyed at finally being able to go home after what will have been five months of living as a refugee. I've learned to live with just the basics because I have most of my stuff in storage, and I can't really remember what most of that is anyway! I'm so grateful for all the loving kindness and generosity that people have shown us along this journey.  On the other hand, I am a little apprehensive about moving back to a community where living with lava has become the new normal. When I think back to May 4th, when the first lava emerged from a crack in the road, I remember how horrified I was. Being relatively new to the island, I hadn't had any experience of being so close to a lava flow. But, now I'm at peace with not knowing what is going to happen. I know that I only have control over myself. My feelings about living with lava have changed over the course of the past five months after learning how the native Hawaiian people live and deal with active lava flows. I remember reading a story someone posted on Facebook about a Hawaiian family that lives in Kalapana. Back in the '90s, when a lava flow threatened some homes in that area, the family owned two houses next door to each other. The grandmother lived in one, and the rest of the family lived in the other. When the lava flow was close to taking the grandmother's house, she cleaned it for Pele and moved in with her family in the neighboring house. The lava covered the grandmother's house but not the house next door. And to this day, the family lives right next door to the lava flow. This set such a strong example for me, and I have taken it to heart.  I think I'm ready for the 'new normal'. © Erika Marie Rose and Good Vibes, 2018

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