Stones, my favorite keepsakes. When my suitcase is not at the weight limit, stones make a nice little travel remembrance to bring home. Not from a National Park, mind you. And I’ll never take a piece of lava home from Hawaii. Here is why.
When I read my Stones story (link) at the Wednesday afternoon writing class, my friend Verle, an 89-year-old retired nursing instructor, told how years ago she had been in Hawaii at a professional meeting and several of the group traveled to a volcano with one of the local nurses. When Verle picked up a stone to bring home, the local companion became agitated, frosty in her interactions. Finally Verle asked why she was upset, and the Hawaiian said, “Pele doesn’t like people to take her stones.” So Verle put it back.
Then Clarence, a well-traveled classmate of the same vintage as Verle and a man who grew up in Hawaii, volunteered that he had heard of visitors taking volcano rocks home to the mainland, then experiencing so much bad luck that they sent the stones back to Hawaii to be returned to the mountain.
Anecdotal information, but I’m not going be the one to test it. I don’t know why I’ve never been inclined to pick up a lava rock, but now I know why I continue to have good fortune. Lucky me!