Snap….Crackle. Pop.

A portion of the Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii is overrun by lava spewing through at least 24 fissures. Many of our favorite places  are in its path, and are likely never again to be accessible during our lifetimes. Though I have volunteered a couple times at the Red Cross shelter, and given some funds for immediate needs of those affected, I feel helpless watching it all….and am stress eating, stress streaming, stress surfing….

We have friends and acquaintances who have lost homes, farm, cars…..everything.  And so we offered our guest house for temporary housing for those who are displaced, and a couple are coming to view it later this week.

In preparation, I emptied the refrigerator (still filled with stuff from our snowbirds, Henry and Susan,) and tried to make room for it in our freezer…..necessitating some decluttering of my own stuff.

Six containers of pureed lilikoi, mango and guava were dumped into the wine vat with some yeast and sugar and water and set to brewing….

One cup of lilikoi puree made 2 loaves of sweetbread…..

And two gallon baggies of cherry tomatoes and some frozen peppers were rendered into sweet chili sauce. After making the sauce, I poured it into sterilized jars, added the lids and then placed the jars into a boiling water bath. After 20 minutes, I removed them to the counter. I listened for the sound of the jars sealing themselves.  One after the other, I heard the unmistakable sound of each jar seal.

The videos of the inundation of Puna are terrifying and mesmerizing: we watch lava fissures spew molten rock hundreds of feet into the air….and listen to it crackle as it moves down the street….over houses and cars. We hear the snap of trees and power lines as they are pushed over by the advancing flow….and our hearts ache for those who have in a short space of time lost home, farms, and livelihoods.

And I am amazed at how comforting it was to hear the all-too-normal-and-expected “POP” of each jar of chili sauce as it sealed.