The Moiliilil Water Cave and Layers of Reality

The Moiliili Water Cave: Photo by Leah Colucci

Good Morning, God!

After reading my blog on Draining Pools of Pain a friend reminded me of the Water Cave under the Kokua Market parking lot. Years ago I had heard that there were underground caverns along King Street, but I hadn’t thought much about them until she mentioned it.

Googling “underground Moiliili” took me back to the last interglacial period — the Pleistocene Sangamon Interglacial Stage — to be precise. That’s when the coral that the cave is made of was created.

Back then (maybe 2.5 millions years ago?) the sea level was 25 feet higher than it is today. So the coral reefs were further inland. They were right around the area between the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Kapiolani Boulevard. Over time the fossil coral was shaped by the Manoa stream — before it changed course — and is now a limestone landscape or karst. For years it was part of a water system that fed several springs, one of them being at the Willow’s restaurant. But, in 1934 a construction project caused a major drainage of the area — damaging the springs.

It’s funny, God, how when we stand on solid ground — the parking lot at the Kokua Market — we don’t think that there is a water cave just a couple meters under our feet. There is a phrase in the book, Thinking: Fast and Slow that describes a common human perceptual problem  — “What we see is all there is.”

That pretty much describes me, God. There are so many layers in “reality” — but I am mostly oblivious. If that is true of the relatively easy physical reality, what about our emotional realities? Layers upon layers, God! And, mostly unseen, until they crop up in Springs — or sewer outfalls.

Thank You, God, for the Water Cave being a reminder that there is far more going on in the world — in me, and in others — than I can see.

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Story teller,

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