by Glen Swartwout
The Shire is located adjacent to the Burning Land of Mount Doom, otherwise known as Kilauea, the most active volcano on Earth… The tropical sun, also shines its celestial fire down upon this land, providing a year round growing season, balancing out the sometimes intense rainfall that keeps it a lush, green, flowering tropical paradise, and providing frequent rainbows, many double rainbows, and even magical moonbows that shine like mithreal silver.
Fire is a useful tool, particularly in a place with an abundance of moisture. Ohia is an ideal firewood, being the sixth densest wood on the planet. Of course we only harvest dead ohia trees! Fire can be used for cooking (yum!), heating water (ahhhh!), drying bananas and other fruits, as well as smoking fish and meat for food preservation. And with forethought, all of these functions can be served by a single fire, with a beehive lava rock oven (with an inner layer of cinderized lava rock used as fire brick, and an outer layer of black rock). A single small fire can efficiently heat a massive heat sink of rock and mortar for all-day cooking heat, and embedded air and water pipes can carry this heat, or smoke and heat, as needed for adjunct drying, smoking and water heating processes.
Cooking fires are legal. Food to be cooked must be within a hundred feet of the fire according to orc law. Other fires require a permit from the county, such as when The Shire was host to Rebirth, the regional Burning Man gathering of up to 650 interactive artists for four days! It is also illegal to burn pallets (which are loaded with nasty orc hardware that can do in expensive tractor and automobile tires, not to mention blowing out your flip flop). Burning anything green such as freshly cut or incompletely cured live wood produces extra greenhouse gases and incurs a $1000 fine as well… Orc style slash and burn agriculture is definitely not the style at The Shire.
Another important form of the fire element is to be found in all life, including the cosmic life of creation itself. The spiritual form of this fire is often called Ormus in the common tongue, but has also been called Starfire in the long ago… Since the volcanic activity is the dominant terrestrial source of these spirit minerals, we live right at the source! We breathe in Ormus, inviting it to join our living spiritual (meaning breathing) community. Ha, as in Hawai’i and Aloha, means breath, the breath of life.
Pyramid means fire in the middle. There are many ancient pyramids on the island of Hawai’i. The fire in the middle also reflects the fire in the heart, the core of the chakra energy system in Middle Earthlings. It is the fire in the heart that brings our consciousness to bear on the spirit minerals as we breath them into our being, incorporating them into our growing and developing spiritual navigation vessels, our cosmic future selves. This fire in our hearts of caring attention to all details ignites the stars others see in our eyes. It is this spiritual activation that is the true source of value, and the reason that transcending the orc money economy founded on principles of scarcity of goods, accumulation of material wealth, and leading to unquenchable need and greed, is so essential. Value in the true economy of sacred giving and service to others is transcendent, immutable and available to be shared and appreciated by all participants!
One of a hobbit’s favorite destinations, when venturing beyond the bounds of The Shire is the warm ponds located along the nearby coastline of lower Puna. Geothermally heated hot springs feed these pools, keeping them warmer than the ocean water, which is itself much warmer than in many parts of the world our visitor and newcomers may be familiar with, such as the states. When going to the warm pond, we check the tide charts to get there as the tide is still going out and approaching low tide, as that is when the water is warmest and cleanest.