Spain Evacuates Homes in El Hierro Island Due to Volcanic Activity FOX - November 6, 2011
The government said in a statement it has evacuated 11 homes and closed the island's main road tunnel after a tremor of 3.9 magnitude on Saturday followed one of 4.4 magnitude the previous evening.
Spewing underwater volcano shakes ground, forces Spain to close island port MSNBC - November 6, 2011
Activity by an underwater volcano has led Spanish authorities to shutdown access to a port on El Hierro island, officials said on Saturday. Ships have been ordered away from waters around La Restinga and aircraft have been banned from flying over the island's southern tip.The port's 600 residents were evacuated Tuesday after volcanic activity began. he regional government of the Canary Islands says scientists have detected airborne volcanic fragments called pyroclasts rising from the sea off La Restinga.
El Hierro Volcano (Canary Islands) : Red alert - Raymond has to leave his viewing point due to the toxic gases.
Sunday October 23, 2011
At 6.30 a.m. my friends and I arrive at the feet of Mount Leao, a 541 ft hill on the west coast of Sal, Cape Verde. It's a dead volcano, and as many others here, it has a pyramidal shape. I wrote to Ellie before, how for me Sal - this tiny stretch of land scattered in the Atlantic Ocean - is a platform with pyramids.
The four women - Victoria Abbott, Paola Mariani, Sheena Patel and I - have been planning this excursion for some time. However, it's clear from the start that not everything is going to be as we have programmed. First, one of us is stuck in bed with a flu. That's Vickey. We miss her especially because she was supposed to lead us to the top of Mount Leao. Vickey is the one who always pushes us beyond our self-imagined limits and does it with such a sense of ease and fun that we all follow. Paola, who has an innate sense for clever solutions, has asked her husband Camillo to come with us instead. Of course it's a great idea! For, while three women are hesitating and complaining we are not able to do it, how the path is steep and slippery, and our shoes with no treads, Camillo is already far up. He stops just to take a closer look at a particular stone, wondering if it's the right one to pick for his garden.
The second reason why I find it to be surprisingly different is because of the whether. Here on Sal, we have lots of sunshine. Under the high tropical sun, the colors are very strong and vibrant. I love it. However, today is very cloudy and this early morning, for me, feels chilly. While I'm not very into this kind of whether, my friends say it's perfect; otherwise it would be too hot and wearying to hike, they say. They are right and I begin to wisely put aside my expectations and to open to the energies of this day and of this group, especially because positive.
Eventually, we arrive on a flat surface, just under the top of the hill. It's a perfect viewpoint. We seat and pause. Camillo is serving us with "mate" - typical tea from his home country, Argentina. No one of us is native to this island where we are living today. But we have agendas connecting us to this place and are here to stay. What is this country anyway? Have you ever heard about Cape Verde? Sheena will answer that. I call her the "great sista", because she would appear ageless and her energies are a blend of the kid and adult's, the teaser and sage's.
Our Sheena reminds us of a recent article she read in the New York Times. It is about Pedro Pires, the ex Cape Verdean president receiving the 5 million dollars Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. This prize hasn't been assigned to anybody for the past two years, because no leader has deserved it as corruption and ill government are blazing in most African countries. We comment how, Cape Verde, in contrast to many others is poor in natural resources; no petrol, gold, diamonds here, upon which to build an empire of greed and oppression. "You see you don't have to be that kind of government bad guy to bag up 5 million bucks", my friends observe.
We turn to look the ocean, the reef and the surf, the island barren and flat, except for the pyramids. On our right is Espargos, the biggest town on the island and with the adjacent international airport. Sheena's phone is ringing 7.45 a.m. We are watching a plane taking off.
After the noisy jet vanishes, peace returns. The ocean is smooth and endless, and the clouds heavy and low. It seems as heaven and sea are touching, and we are on a privileged seat to watch it. Only later when departing we would realize that we were also sheltered from the strong wind that picked up just behind the hill, making thus the ocean on that other side, rough and choppy. But here, a big bird - perhaps an eagle - flies above the glassy waters and we are watching it from above. We are all overwhelmed by it and Paola says she often dreams of flying. Me too. "No wonder some people get crazy about paragliding", Sheena ads, "wouldn't be cool to be able to fly." The fantasies and the height we are on are making us dizzy.
We continue to chat, while I am settling to do a meditation. This is my intention: to ascend and overlooking the ocean, do it. I understood it only a few days before. I have read about the Lion and the Book of Creation in one of Ellie's recent blogs. I know the Lion is special to her. On our part, the Mount Leao was calling upon my group of friends. Moreover, I have recently had an interesting experience of feminine and masculine polarities merging into oneness.
On the night of October 21, before falling to sleep I had imaginary pictures of my husband and I dancing and spinning around a room. It was just a flux of thoughts. I looked close to my husband's face and saw it blending with mine- then it took off spontaneously. Something unexpected and beautiful happen. I felt myself being in two places at the same time: in my room and in my body; but also outside my body and on another plane, so to say, where I sensed my body light, my mind serene and everything in that unison more relaxed than ever. I was still awake and it was very clear what was happening. To perceive oneself in both places as well as to be totally composed and loose, felt so natural. It lasted for a minute or two. Later, I was explained I had had a conscious out of body experience.
I would like to point this out: the "paranormal" OBE appeared to me very ordinary and familiar. Though, what did bewilder me was how I triggered it. Here was the key: the merging of the dualities; a woman's appearance into a man's; a feminine nature into a masculine. It was right then that a shift came about.
Back to our Sunday excursion.
We are sitting in the same sheltered place and chatting in a quiet tone, often surrendering to silence. The view we have from here is spectacular. Sheena speaks how she saw a movie the other day in which there were only female characters and how by the end of it, she only wished to turn it off, and return to balance: "women need men, and men need women", she concludes. Well, that is plain and fair; the same can't be said of the world's economy and politics! Yet, I don't believe Sheena is aware she has been talking about something I have prepared to do a meditation upon. It's a sign for me to begin. Again, everything is silent.
My eyes are closed. By turning the gaze toward and through the third eye, I have immediately seen a very bright sun. I say to myself, "It'ss not always that quick". Maybe, Mount Leao is a special place in which I may instantly connect to some sort, or some source, of energy. Leao is the Portuguese name for "Lion". I imagine my face as a lion's. The taller forehead I have now is free of tensions; it's so smooth and vast and I'm enjoying all the light it can be bestowed upon. Only my mane is stirred; it's carried by the wind and blasting around the radiance I'm receiving. In the meantime, Paola and Sheena have climbed to the very top. Afterwards, they would say, it has been very windy up there.
We have finally fulfilled our resolutions on Mount Leao: me to do a meditation; Sheena to face her fear of height; Paola to do something she has wished for 15 years; and Camillo to enjoy his Sunday. The story is over. We can drive back home now.
Actually, once in the car and heading to Santa Maria where we are sojourning, we are entering a new story ... I see a big heron flying low above us. My friends also see it landing between the bushes and grass. I am the only one who can't see it anymore.
Sheena speaks, "It's amazing how animals are made to camouflage and blend perfectly with the surroundings. You know about the leopards ..." And here she is again, the kid and the adult, the teaser and the sage, telling stories of when she lived in Zambia and the South Africa, spent time there and worked in the reserves. To me, they are wonderful stories about nature and wild life. But, we all are wonderful and beautiful and learning we are one.
Very often people talk about what is on my mind. Would you guess then, who was back in the story about Africa that Sheena was beginning to tell us? The lions, of course.
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