We took T to see the spouting lava a few days ago. The twins were babysat for only the second time in their lives, and I was nervous as hell about it, but it all went fine. I’ve been itching to see the molten lava since we moved to this island, but it’s always been off limits to me on account of my pregnancy, and resulting preemie twins, both situations not conducive to sulfurous fumes and the general unpredictability of volcanoes. We had to park about a mile and a half away from the lava, which was fine, great even, because it built up the anticipation watching the smoke plumes and red glow on the horizon get closer.
The walk to the volcano was, predictably, through a lava field, and this was equally cool. People, a few insane people that is, had built little shacks in the lava field, and there were real estate signs advertising land for sale, if you can believe that. It was surreal, desolate. The whole landscape drenched in black, hardened lava. It wasn’t flat like brownies, it was curved, turbulent. Like rippling water that turned to stone when you weren’t looking. There was a long stream of people headed toward the red glow and we followed the crowd. We couldn’t not follow. Lava is dangerous, but so seductive. The landscape looks so harsh and hard and cold, and then you see this warm orange glow, like the sun, like dripping butter, and you can’t help but walk towards it.
There were so many people there (by island standards anyway) at the destination, the lookout point where we could see the lava spurting and falling into the ocean. The ocean hissed and smoked. There was ocean all around, fire and water, like we were standing on the end of the earth. Very cool. Very dark as well, out there in the middle of no where.
At one point I lost S in the crowd and felt a moment of panic. It brought back a memory from years ago about being at the Inti Rami festival in Peru (which is very cool by the way- colorful costumes, drums, etc), again in the middle of no where. It had taken trains, taxis on their last legs, lots of walking, all manner of transport to get there. We were pushing through the crowd when suddenly he was gone. I’m 5’3″ and couldn’t see over anyone’s head. I lost him at the top of a hill, but felt myself being pulled down. There was music, shouting, chaos. There were no English speakers, no cell phones, no arranged accommodation for the night, no internet, and, worst of all, because I left mine with him- no money. I was screwed. Totally, totally screwed. Then, out of the clear blue sky he landed right in front of me. I’ve never been so happy to see someone in my life.
After the lava, as we neared the car I asked S if he remembered that time, and to my shock, he didn’t. We talked about more of our adventures the next morning, about what went on before the marriage, the twins, etc., then S played Lulu’s favorite game, ‘robot baby.’ The idea is that she is a robot baby going through the assembly line of a robot baby factory. He sprawls out on the floor and lifts her high, then lowers her to his face with little robot jerks while making machine sounds- cha chink, cha chink, cha chink, then straight up- beep beep beep. She thinks this is the greatest game ever.
I can’t wait until the girls are big enough to take on their own adventures. When I was a kid we never traveled, and I was always desperate to get out of town and see new things. Maybe that’s why I live in the middle of the Pacific now, on this strange and wonderful jungle island. My little twins are only 5 months old, just over 3 months if you subtract the 7wks they were born early, and they’ve already flown thousands of miles. In 2 months, they’ll fly again. I want my girls to be travelers. They already are I suppose.