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But heat was not only aspect of lava that elements had concealed from us. I picked up a small twig and approached foot of black mound that had gushed from top of mountain. Getting as close as I could to sulphurous heat, I stuck branch into rain-drenched ground about two inches in front of lava. Within a minute, lava hill reached stick and buried it!
Suddenly my whole body reeled with involuntary shudder of recognition. For last hour Rob and I had been walking on a live, moving lava flow! And Rob was still up there running around on molten granite.
Another eruption, three times louder than first one, filled air. My ears throbbed from deafening boom. My feet and body registered avalanche after avalanche of crashing rock careening down side of volcano. Descending rough trail, I ran head over heels in a panic, determined to outrun any rockslides coming my way. After a half-hour of fastest, long distance race I’ve ever run, I arrived at our jeep safely sheltered under a broad-armed tree. Collapsing into front seat, I fought to catch my breath.
As my pulse and mind quieted, I was overcome with fear for safety of my friend still walking around on moving bed of liquid rock in midst of periodic violent explosions. I began feeling intensely responsible. I’d left a young kid in my charge on top of an erupting volcano! A nightmarish vision bombarded me. I saw his parents, who had entrusted their son with me, watching local authorities dig through rubble of volcano searching for body of lost American youth. Feeling so guilty and worried I could neither relax nor rest, I decided I must leave jeep and hike back up volcano. I had to find Rob.
No sooner had I opened door of jeep than an insistent inner impulse told me to stay put and listen inside for further instructions. When I receive such forceful commands from my inner coach, I usually obey. Quieting myself as much as possible under circumstances, I endeavored to get in touch with my next best intuitive move. I challenged myself, Was it wrong what I did? Was it selfish and self-absorbed to look after my own safety and leave a young kid behind?
After I felt all intense emotions stirred up from asking these soul-searching questions, I received a very strong message directly from Spirit. My inner knowing spoke to me emphatically, saying:
“You did right thing. You followed your intuition. If you recall specifically, your inner coach told you that it was dangerous for you to stay, and that you needed to leave immediately. It said nothing about your friend Rob. Nothing at all. You were right to follow your guidance and leave. In fact, had you stayed, you may very well have endangered your friend’s safety! Had you stayed, you would have been out of alignment with your intuition and, therefore, out of harmony and integrity with yourself. This discordant state has a strong tendency to interfere with another person’s ability to tap into and follow his or her own knowing. Had you stayed, you may have hindered Rob’s ability to hear and heed his inner direction. You took most helpful, loving and appropriate action by following letter and spirit of your intuition. You following you own internal urging allowed your friend space to realize he must rely on his own internal wisdom.”
Spirit’s message was a fascinating new lesson in intuitive guidance for me. In general, and for its reassurance in my present predicament, I was grateful for this fresh perspective. I never before realized precision of intuition. I never before understood independence of one person’s guidance from inner counsel of another person in a shared situation.
At exact moment I realized import of what I was being told by my inner coach, Rob came streaking down trail toward jeep. In fury of last violent eruption, Rob received his own internal signal to vamoose. Guided by his own inner compass, he immediately took Mudslide Express through jungle to safety. I was extremely relieved—and appreciative to Spirit—that my nightmare vision of Rob’s demise was averted. I gave silent thanks for eternal lessons I learned from our escapade.
Back on solid ground, Rob and I were anxious to leave mountain rains and clouds. We hopped into jeep and sped toward sunny western coast of Costa Rica. Driving down mountainside, we both lapsed in and out of thankful silence for being alive. Perhaps next day, morning’s events would seem a great adventure, but, right then, very real danger we’d just survived remained very palpable and raw. Our minds, emotions and physical bodies were still remembering and replaying our narrow escape.
Suddenly, Rob and I experienced simultaneous intuitive hits to pull over and get out of jeep. Leaning against vehicle, we turned as one toward top of mountain we’d just descended. As if waiting for us to stop our downward trek away from mountain and turn our gaze upward, clouds parted to reveal awesome Mt. Arenal volcano for very first time since our arrival in Costa Rica so many days earlier. The dense mist lifted. We saw exactly where we had been hiking on lava flow. We pinpointed where tree line ended and lava flow began. We’d been standing only a hundred yards from open mouth of volcano when it erupted!
The restaurant owner Miguel had promised we would be with, we would feel and we would know spirit of volcano. He said mountain would definitely erupt when we were there. And he’d promised volcano would not harm us. The rain and his crude map tricked us into going so close to volcano that we did, indeed, get to know volcano, not just view it.
Was it spirit of volcano that sent Miguel to us? —and turned skies into a torrential downpour in order to obscure treacherous nature of our journey so we wouldn’t be scared off? Rob and I agreed, stranger things have happened. One thing was certain. If we’d been able to see where we were going, we would never have walked as close as we did to mouth of cauldron.
Now, viewing majesty of Mt. Arenal, we were humbled and ever so grateful for experience of having been able to safely feel mountain’s power and personality. As we were sending out our thankfulness to and admiration of volcano, mountain erupted again with an explosion twice as high as volcano itself. Two miles of elegant ash plume shot up into dark blue sky. The event was quite dramatic and very humbling.
We knew volcano was responding to our love and appreciation for its gift to us that day. Then clouds closed back in and our mighty friend said good-bye, leaving us forever changed and enriched by its friendship.
Keith Varnum shares his 30 years of practical success as an author, personal coach, acupuncturist, filmmaker, radio host, vision quest guide and international seminar leader (The Dream Workshops). Keith helps people get the love, money and health they want with his FREE “Prosperity Ezine” at www.TheDream.com.