Hubby and I recently finished watching an Icelandic science fiction series, Katla. The Netflix description is, “The catastrophic eruption of subglacial volcano Katla turns a nearby community’s world upside down as mysteries begin to emerge from the ice.” Remember how the real-life 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland (with its small population of 315,000+) wreaked havoc in international, especially European, air travel? The TV series reminds me of Hawaii, Pele, ancient folklore and how “folklore” seems more relevant and not-so-ancient when living in a place with ever-changing, powerful, dramatic Nature. The Katla series opens with a striking visual of a being emerging.
Disruption. Making do, coping, because there’s no alternative. Emerging. Reminds me of this pandemic. Increasingly we’re seeing signs that we as a larger society are emerging out of our isolation from each other, approaching the normalcy of pre-pandemic life. Today I read a news report that the Maui mayor is asking airlines to help bring fewer tourists. This info surprised me:
The Hawaii Tourism Authority said 215,148 visitors came to the island [Maui] in May compared to just 1,054 during the same month last year, when tourism all but shut down amid COVID-19 fears and Hawaii’s requirement that travelers quarantine upon arrival. That’s not far off May 2019, when 251,665 visitors arrived.
In another sign of normalcy, there were some public firework shows this year. On Hawaii island there was one in Hilo and one at the old airport in Kona. This post’s photo was taken 22 minutes before the scheduled show. The evening sky was reflected in Keiki Ponds, just south side of the old airport, near the Kona Aquatic Center, former site of the mass vaccination clinics. To me it projects a feeling of peaceful, quiet solitude at day’s end. It doesn’t look like a holiday or that many people are around.
People were in various places, some on boats, some sitting along the rock wall or the rocks, at the old airport, near the pool. We all awaited the 8pm fireworks show. Or was it 8:30? Could it be 9:00? I heard someone announce his personal ultimatum, “If it doesn’t start by 9:15, I’m giving up.” Gradually people gave up. Once a few left, most did. There didn’t seem to be a way to inform everyone of what was going on. We couldn’t find anything online. A man came out from one of the big houses and offered any adults of drinking age a consolation beer.
I actually had enjoyed watching three women sitting on the arch near the blowhole at Keiki Ponds. The waves were increasingly pounding, and it was strange to see water splash behind AND in front of them (from the blowhole). It felt like a firework show of sorts. Bam!! Poof!! I wouldn’t have been in the dark where I was, and they probably wouldn’t have been where they were without the excuse of a firework show.
This morning I found a website that said the fireworks, due to technical difficulties (a problem with a cable), were rescheduled for tonight. Yes, yet another glitch in post-pandemic life (are we in that stage now?) as we emerge. I don’t know if I care enough to go another night in a row, and what if that cable still doesn’t work? I suspect inertia may win.
In other news, the Hawaii Coffee Association held its statewide cupping competition that got postponed from last year. It wasn’t in person and was done remotely. But cupping was done at the same time and deliberations were done via Zoom. The winning coffee didn’t come from Kona or this island! Read this article in West Hawaii Today to find out from where the winner hails and to learn more about how they conducted the remote competition.