First View

Shortly after lunch we got our first view of the Mountain of God.

I had been having repeats of the nightmares I had as a child, brought on by a 1950 kids encyclopaedia, and a picture of Mt St Helens blowing her top at the Open University Earth Sciences department, where a volcano formed underneath our house, and the whole family was obliterated in an instant by a geyser of incandescent lava. In a similar way to fears of terrorist attack that formed in my mind at the start of the invasion of Iraq I started to see an inevitability of our lives being wiped out senselessly by an unstoppable force. Clouds forming around the top of the mountain became smoke, warning of the cataclysmic eruption that would begin the moment we stepped over the crater rim.

Yuki and Stella played along with this fantasy which must surely be closely related to hypochondria. Somehow it is both terrifying and comforting to think of spectacular death, but go ahead and do stuff anyway.

There really were some convincing looking plumes of smoke appearing from behind the volcano. We didn’t stop to take pictures of them, so I guess I’ll never know.


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