Rising pressures beneath the earth’s surface can sometimes trigger violent volcanic eruptions, spewing life threatening hot molten lava and gases. The toxic forces destroy everything in their path, and turn lush landscapes into fields of jagged, lifeless, rock. Yet as eruptions abate and hot vents continue to emit heat and noxious gases, ecological succession begins. Birds, winds and people bring what could be the seeds of life anew to the scene. The images below from the big island of Hawaii in 2021, testify to this process of "ruptures and reemergence" following the 2018 eruptions of the Kilauea volcano that displaced some 1700 people and leveled some 700 homes in the lower east rift zone of the island.
Looking at the ruptures and reemergence of this area, we invite the viewer to consider the parallels that have overtaken and all but destroyed communities closer to home. The destructive forces of racial animosity, crass self interest, and a willingness to abandon commitments to truth and democratic processes that might contain these during the emergence of a global pandemic, we are now witness to societal ruptures and scars that will take decades to address. As we see what appears to be signs of life peeking out from the ruptures and amid the gases in both our ecology and our communities, we must ask ourselves: what seeds can we bring, and how do we avoid depending on the empty shells of prior life bring new life to the scars of yesterday?