About 1980 my boyfriend at the time had a 4WD soft-top Jeep Golden Eagle with big fat tires & huge speakers in the back. We’d go 4-wheeling with the cassette tapes in the stereo blasting, into all kinds of places where you couldn’t drive regular cars, over lava, in the mud, wherevahs.
One late afternoon we were down Kalapana, kind of across the highway from Harry K. Brown Park (which my stepdad helped design) & north of Drainpipe, we were just cruising over the black sand dunes there, which also had some spots of grassy coverage which was being blown flat by the wind. The sea was rough with whitecaps like a storm was coming in.
We stopped at the top of one of the dunes behind the treeline away from the road. It was not the highest spot, but there was a great view from there. As I got out, I noticed a rock nearby that was about a foot and a half tall, flat on top, and sort of in a heart shape as you look down on it, but the pointy part of the “heart” was rounded off. I’d only lived in Hawai`i about 4 years at that point, and realize now that I didn’t know enough about Hawaiian culture back then to show proper respect to what seemed like a curiosity to me. It seemed out of place, and I wondered who would’ve brought that stone & left it up there on the hill? Might’ve even taken 2 guys to carry it. I casually stepped up on it, as it seemed to be shaped just for a pair of feet to kinda fit there. As soon as I was up on it, I looked out to sea & it seemed like my vision instantly became sharper and I could see much farther than when just standing on the sand, so I said “Wow, you can really see far from here!” Then for some reason I’ll never understand, I stepped off behind the rock, stepped out of my slippah, and then stepped back up onto the top of the rock again. It felt like I’d stepped into somebody else’s well-worn shoes, a couple sizes bigger than mine, I could feel where the toes used to be, it was like I’d felt the presence of many who had come before to stand on that very spot & worn their footprints into the stone over time. It was so surprising and I said “I can feel the footprints!”
As soon as those words were out of my mouth it felt as if I had been punched right in the middle of my chest, and all the air in my lungs was sucked out of me, and I was knocked right off onto the sand!
My boyfriend had a genuine look of terror, and started shouting “Tell em you’re sorry!! Say you’re sorry!! We sorry!! WE SORRY!!!” So I started saying it too, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!! I’M SO SORRY!!!”
He didn’t have to tell me to get in the Jeep, we jumped in & took off, both of us still freaked out & terrified at what just happened!
We never went back, and years later, after Kalapana was covered by lava & the stone buried forever, I asked my friend who was born & raised down there if she knew anything about this “seeing stone” at Kalapana, but she said she didn’t.
It’s the most supernatural experience I’ve ever had in my life.
“Bumbye you learn” definitely applied to me that day!!