Surfing and swimming at the base of an active lava-flowing volcano sounds like a crazy idea. But some people just have a “very special connection with lava,” as adventurer Alison Teal describes herself. No wonder she was named the “Female Indiana Jones” by Time Magazine in 2015 and the “Oprah of Adventure” a year later by The Huffington Post and O Magazine. In an enthusiastic Facebook post, she describes her recent plunge next to the Kilauea Volcano, currently erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii and flowing into the ocean for the first time since 2011, as “perhaps the most powerful experience of my life.”
“With the guidance, support, and prayer of the elders, and following cultural protocol, I paddled within feet of hot lava rivers pouring into the ocean. It was humbling and breathtaking. The rawness, the heat, the crackling & hissing sounds, the reality check that we live on a planet that is alive.”
Alison was very aware of the fact that Pele, the goddess of the Volcano, is a highly respected and often feared force in Hawaii, and that very specific traditions must be followed to avoid “certain death.” After the adventure, she therefore found it fascinating and heart warming to see Hawaiians watch the footage and point out that Pele was “really excited to meet us! They said if you look closely in the footage when I’m closest to the flow you will see what looks like a face in the lava with two glowing eyes and hot molten hair.”
“Many people think that we have control over the earth and I assure you we are pretty small in the greater scheme of things. What I learned through this experience is that life is short, fragile, and not worth stressing about. Everything is always in a constant state of flux – especially our molten core. Nothing is permanent, nothing is owned, nothing is for certain.”
Alison encourages everyone to challenge their selves and to fearlessly go forward toward your dreams. However, she also warns not to repeat her stunt. “The water is boiling, the fumes are lethal and the ocean conditions are beyond treacherous.”
We are but a tiny, wild planet in a huge universe and as humans we have been put on this earth to pour lava onto everyone and erupt our greatness onto the world so that it flows into the lives of others and forms solid families, friends, religions, politicians, and hardens into peaceful long lasting structures for our futures generations to build on.