They say it all began there. Or at least close to it. The Japanese creation myth tells stories of Amaterasu and Susano’o and many of the stories take place on the Southern island of Kyushu. I’ve had the great privilege to have spent the last two years here exploring the beautiful and varied countryside. Recently, I got to visit Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Mount Aso is an active volcano. I come from an area that is geologically stable, no earthquakes, no volcanoes. Mount Aso was the second active volcano I’ve had the great fortune to see but was the first active crater. It’s easy to take a winding road up the green, fertile slopes. Fenced grasslands stretch with wandering cattle and horses until the next blueinsh-gray mountain on the horizon. At the summit you can see right into the steaming maw. It is beautifully destructive and apathetic. The steam billowing out changes from moment to moment and demands appreciation. I found it to be much like the Aurora Borealis. You stare at the majesty that it is and absorb all of it, every second is beauty, but to capture the true experience takes time, patience and time.
It’s the same with reading or writing. Heck, creating anything. Volcanoes are artists. True creators. They have created some of the most amazing geologically diverse creations on the planet, particularly in the South Pacific. They are usually quiet but you listen, sometimes run, when they speak. They don’t care what you have to say about them. They are infinitely patient and wait for the moment that is right for them. They don’t listen to the prevailing status quo. Some volcanoes spend their fifteen minutes of fame quickly while others stick around for generations.
What lessons have you learned from nature?