Stone Cairns


My friend Amy recently wrote a post on building stone cairns in her garden. She finds joy and balance in creating them. Her post reminded me of this photo I took in Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were walking through one of the craters there and found this stone cairn along the trail. There were quite a few just like this marking the trail. As you can see, I took the photo in black and white. I felt it was appropriate to convey the feeling of the stark landscape of the crater and the lava rocks all around us. Native Hawaiians believe that the spirit of Pele, Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes, lives in the lava rock. I could feel her spirit guiding us that day.

After we hiked through the crater, we drove down to the ocean to see if we could get a glimpse of any flowing lava. There wasn’t much to see beyond a couple of glowing red pinpricks in the distance. But, as we were leaving just after sunset, I glanced up at the sky and was treated to one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen in my life. A sea of stars so thick that they appeared to be a mist. I wish I could have taken a picture that evening but it was too dark. It was one of those moments in my life where I could truly feel that everything was connected just like that sea of stars.

Have you ever seen the stars like that?

3 comments on “Stone Cairns

  1. acrawley63 says:

    Hi Karen,

    Great picture of the stone cairns in Hawaii. I love the freeform aspect of their creation. And isn’t a sky full of stars an amazing sight? Talk about feeling like a speck on the arm of a giant. It sounds like your visit to the Volcano National Park was a spiritually rejuvinating experience.


  2. tammy says:

    hi karen
    i was wandering thru some of your old posts and came across the one about the stone cairns on the big island-i was there too in 2000-but i did not run across any of the cairns??-i found the patterns and shapes of the hard lava amazing-i had to keep touching it-little did i know that my fingers were being rubbed raw from the texture!-but i would do it again in a heartbeat!!
    as for seeing stars-my cousin lives waaaaay up in vermont and at a family reunion one year i was sitting out very late and the stars were like nothing i have ever seen before-so bright and wonderous-it was like sitting under a bowl and you could see the curve of the sky-i will never forget that sight or the feeling i had that nite:)

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks Amy and Tammy for your comments!

    Tammy, we came across these cairns while hiking through one of the craters.

    Witnessing the beauty of the stars without any light sources around is truly a wondrous sight, isn’t it? It’s one of those moments when we can truly connect to the essence of all that is…


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