With all the recent news of the Big Island and vivid pictures of red spewing lava, I think of my novel, Princess Ruth: Love & Tragedy in Hawaii.

“With the glare and heat of the lava upon her, the old Chiefess (Princess Ruth Keelikolani, in            1881, richest woman in Hawaii] moved majestically, approaching step by step, slowly and alone, walking up to her goddess. (Princess Ruth chanted, threw tribute to Goddess Pele, and slept all night in her bed next to the lava.) The ground became silent and at dawn Oliver Stillman sped to Hilo to tell the people that their city was safe.”

Princess Ruth’s prayers and her mana (spiritual power) had stopped a volcano. You can still see the line where this lava flow halted outside Hilo.

What so engaged me, and still does, are questions of this one-on-one powerful spiritual connection. The closest I’ve come is my Quaker reading and practice and lately Rex Ambler’s work as he writes of starting where we are focusing and paying attention. Two small pamphlets of Rex Ambler are, “Light to live by: an exploration in Quaker spirituality” and “Living in Dark Times.”

And how further bridge this gap between Princess Ruth’s “mana” and us?

“… God gives to every human being who comes into the world a measure of the Spirit through which divine guidance is inwardly received and the conscience enlightened. Every human being has direct access through this “inner light” to divine inspiration for guidance for living in accordance with God’s will.” Samuel Caldwell, quoted in Steve Chase, Letters to a Fellow Seeker.

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