Spend some time on the Big Island, speak to those who call it home and a certain feeling becomes very apparent.
Whether or not they’ve been directly affected by the lava, there’s a special reverence toward Pele that seems universal.
The understanding is that she created this land and in the end, she will always have the final say.
But when it comes to Kilauea, acceptance doesn’t equate to a complete understanding. There are still many questions, including will there ever be a final chapter?
“No. Not in your time or not in mine. Plain fact, Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world,” said Harry Kim, former Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator and former Hawaii County mayor.
“This could be the next 30-year event, so it’s not certain when this would stall or stop, but what is certain is there’s a fairly unlimited supply at the source,” said Darryl Oliveira, current Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator.
“Pele will still be here long after we are gone, and that’s why life is short and the lesson that Pele gives is enjoy it. I’m gonna be here longer than you are,” said Steve Hirakami, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science school director.
“If it ends, then there’s no adventure. There’s no hope. There’s no what’s going to happen next,” said Kalapana resident Piilani Kaawaloa.
“If the question was, how long is Kilauea be active? A few more thousand years. I know I won’t be around,” Kim said.