Just wanted to share with you our own personal “Pele Encounter.” We were staying in Hana and decided to hike through the bamboo forest to the hidden waterfall. We had a lovely hike and the bamboo forest was enchanting. After enjoying a dip in the pool beneath the waterfall we headed back to our car.
On the way back things started to go way wrong! I slipped on a rock in the creek and got all my gear wet. Then, about 100 yards from our car…on flat land…my husband stepped awkwardly and twisted his ankle. Then it began to pour down rain. By the time we got back to the car my husband was in severe pain and his ankle was severely swollen. We drove back to The Bamboo House where we were staying and we somehow got him up the steps and into bed with an ice pack and elevation. He was miserable. I thought it was probably broken as by this time the swelling was impressive. And…we were many miles from any emergency room. He finally slept but I was up all night worrying about him and the remaining two weeks that we had planned for hiking on Maui and Kauai.
At dawn I suddenly had an epiphany! The day before we had been at the beautiful black sand beach and I couldn’t resist picking up a few lovely smooth black stones as a souvenir (and slipped them into the pocket of my husband’s hiking shorts for safe keeping).
I’ve never been one for superstition but I was desperate! While he lay sleeping I gathered the stones and made my way back to the beach (still pouring down rain). At the water’s edge I made an impassioned plea and apology to Madame Pele, acknowledging my ignorance and arrogance in the act of taking something that didn’t belong to me and promised that henceforth I would always honor and protect her home. I then said, “Thank You Madame Pele” and placed the stones back on the beach.
As I turned to walk back to the Bamboo House it stopped raining and the sun came out and there was the most glorious rainbow! When I got back to the house, lo and behold, my husband was up preparing breakfast without the slightest limp and no trace of swelling or pain. I just stood there and said, “What the…..??!!” He said, “I know! I just got up and forgot that I had even injured it! I don’t get it!” I told him what I had done. (He said, “Why is it that whenever you do something stupid I am the one who pays for it?”) I told him I couldn’t explain either phenomenon!
Needless to say we are not skeptics any longer and whenever we return to the islands, honoring Mama Pele is one of the first things we do.
“Then I saw her face…now I’m a Believer”