You may have wondered about the many volcano pictures on my website and other profile pages. There’s a reason for that. First of all, I’m fascinated by volcanoes since my childhood. The volcanic islands north of Sicily, Italy belong to the top bucket list ideas. Second, I revisited the volcano Stromboli past fall, after more than 30 years. And third, in my view Stromboli is a powerful symbol of the elemental forces of life, of the four classical elements: earth, water, fire and air – simply the best volcano to visit.
Thinking of Stromboli, my heart starts beating with ecitement. This special island became famous with Roberto Rosselini’s movie “Stromboli” starring Ingrind Bergman. Stromboli is still one of my top bucket list ideas. Remembering the times I spent there, fills me with joyful energy and relieves my stress. So maybe you want to put it on your bucket list too. Here’s what you can expect.
Black Earth of Fertility
The first thing you notice when you debark on this volcanic island is the black earth, from the beach to the top of the mountain. (Click on image above left for full view.) The color comes from the basalt, the cooled down lava. The only exception is the white pumice stone. Chemically it consists of the same element. The only difference lies in the amount of gas, which makes it spongy. In rare cases, you can spot pumice swimming on the water, quite a spectacle!
Because of the many minerals stemming from inside the earth, the Aeolian islands, which Stromboli is part of, are very fertile. You’ll find grapes, oranges, capers, many beautiful flowers and much more. It’s just the perfect place to ground yourself. – Now, for plants to grow the earth needs water to flow: the second element.
Clear Water of Love
Stromboli is being surrounded by the element of life and love: water. It connects all the other islands and carries the ships back and forth. It also nourishes you with all the different fishes. The only problem lies in the table water: It has to be delivered by ships.
Moreover, secrets are hidden in the sea, be it manifold sea life or under water volcanic activity; in some places you’ll find hot springs directly on the beach. And every time you swim or dive down, you feel ever more rejuvenated. – Now, for life to flourish it requires energy either in the shape of warm sunlight or hot lava.
Inner Fire of Strength
Living on the volcano you have to be prepared anytime, especially when you hike to the top to meet the inner fire of the earth. Stromboli is the only volcano which erupts regularly about every 20 minutes. But in times of low activity, when it’s almost quiet, you’re not allowed to go to the top, because it might take you by surprise and thus become dangerous.
Nevertheless, Stromboli is a safe place to stay, because many years ago the crater slid down a bit towards the north. That’s why the ejecta rumble down only on one side. Insofar as the geologists are observing the volcano with high-tech equipment around the clock, visiting as a tourist you’re absolutely safe.
Fresh Air of Compassion
If you make it to the top, standing on the black earth, surrounded by clear water and vivified by the inner fire rocketing upwards, then you take a deep breath and feel the light breeze. In this moment of bliss your heart widens and fills the space with compassion, with passion for all that is. You could just hug the whole world.
Remembering this adventure is like a meditation to me, an activation of powerful archetypes. Now you can understand why Stromboli is still on my bucket list. Click on the image above if you want to see the eruption of Stromboli more intensely.
It would be terrific if you shared your ecstatic and blissful experience, one goal of your bucket list that you have realized.