Under the Sea

It’s not often that the land of my birth is the 3rd item on the BBC Breakfast News, so when I heard Tonga mentioned this morning I was swiftly wide awake and sat up in bed paying attention.

The big news is that a volcano’s erupted under the ocean, resulting in rather dramatic explosions of water:

The good news is that it’s not caused any tsunami waves, but it will have probably damaged fish stocks. The rather eccentric Matangi Tonga has a detailed article about the drama.

What I find fascinating about events like this is how it connects with the Pacific philosophy of the ocean. Moana means “the gift of the ocean” and is the balance of creation in the context of land and sea, informing the islanders understanding of ecology and theology.

Essentially, there is a strongly held ideology that life is derived from the ocean.

  • Out of the ocean comes islands – these are present for a time.
  • Out of the ocean comes life – the weather systems that allow crops to grow.
  • Out of the ocean comes food – the living creatures within it.

However, none of this is permanent because the ocean can reclaim these gifts as quickly as they’re given.

All a bit profound for a post that’s essentially some water shooting up in the air! But it’s not often I get to share Pacific philosophy.

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