Chapter 2 – The Hidden Cavern

By Randy Stahla, copyright 2006.

Kalai was having a lazy afternoon when she noticed that the clouds were turning dark. She went into her hut and sliced some mango and walked around. The birds began to fly away in haste. There was a strange silence that filled the air all around her.  She was tired, and feeling sluggish and warm, and now things began to change around her. She didn’t want to pay any attention to the weather. It was an interruption to the day she was having in the warm sun.

A breeze began to tug at her hair gently, and then it became a nuisance as the wind came up and tossed the palm leaves above her. She had been lying on a towel on the sand, mesmerized by the waves gently going back and forth almost touching her toes.

The wind began to blow everything around and she went and picked up her things off of the beach. It started raining, and drops pelted the roof of her hut. She had a bad feeling about this.

A wave of alarm ran through her, and she picked up some food and a few other things from her hut and started walking hurriedly toward a cave she knew of where she had hidden during tropical storms in the past.


“I hope this isn’t an indication of how the rest of my week is going to go.”


As she hurried over the sometimes black and sharp terrain, she walked carefully over some of the jagged rock. The wind began to blow even harder, and she knew she was in for it. The palm trees bent down as the wind gripped them, and leaves began to tear and fly away.


She grabbed one of the leaves on the ground and tried to use it as a shield for her eyes from the blowing sand and debris. The cave was just ahead, and bending down to go through the entrance she was glad to have found some refuge.


The entrance was black with greenery around it, and the floor was uneven from volcanic eruptions that had taken place years before. She slowly walked into the cave and found a place to sit down and wait out the storm. She could only imagine what a mess her hut must be by now, but at least she had a place to come and stay.


She managed to grab a blanket to sit on and a torch to use in the dark. Kalai sighed as she listened to the wind howl outside. Since she was going to be here for awhile, she thought it would be wise to check out some of the rest of the cave before nightfall. It had been awhile since she had been here since the last storm.

She lit the torch, and left marks on the floor as she went along to help her find her way back. Small sticks were easily inserted into the holes of the black pumice and made a trail for her.

A ways into the cave she saw an opening in the floor to another cavern she had not seen before. She cautiously climbed down the natural ladder formed by hardened lava and held her torch up to see ahead. On the ceiling she saw light dancing, probably the reflection of light from a pool of water not far ahead.

She turned the next corner, and saw a deep pool of water about 10 feet in diameter. Bending down, she tried to see the bottom of the pool and noticed that there was another opening under water that went somewhere to the other side. The water was agitated, rocking back and forth, probably from the wind that was pummeling the surface of the pool on the other side of the cavern. The pool was light blue, reflecting its movements onto the ceiling.  She turned around and went back to where she was staying for the night. It would be better to try exploring this in the morning.

The next day she got up and ate some of the food she brought along. It was 2 days old, but it was still good to someone who was hungry. All she was able to grab was some bread and fruit so that would have to do for now. She looked out of the cave, and it looked to be a nice day again. Leaves and vegetation were strewn about the outside of the cave from the storm the night before. She began to pick up her things in order to leave the cave, and then heard a familiar voice.


“Come back to the pool of blue,

Shining and shimmering in the light,

Come back for I will show you,

Mysteries of a cave and of the night…”


Picking up all her belongings, she went into the cave, back to the pool instead. She held up the torch again, and saw the entrance to the cavern discovered the day before.


The light from the pool was brighter now, reflecting off of her face and the ceiling above. The water was calmer, and azure light drenched everything around her.


“Dive into the water,

Swim toward the light,

And on the other side I will show you

The mysteries of night.”


She put out the torch and stared into the blue pool. She knew that the opening underwater went to the other side of the cavern wall, but she had no idea what was on the other side, and she had no idea if she could hold her breath that long. She knew that it would mean diving in, and swimming underwater until she came up to the surface at the other side.


Dread filled her because of the unknown, but she dove in. She swam carefully through the opening underwater, and tried to calm herself as she swam in an underground cavern. But the light began to get brighter, and she could hear waves crashing on top. She looked up, and she saw the surface of water that opened up before her.


Gasping for air, her body shot upwards above the surface. It was another pool, another side of the cave she had never seen. Treading water, she looked upwards and all around her was beautiful coral rock. Waves crashed against the rock that towered above her. The tide was out, and coral of all colors was exposed and surrounded her as she spun around in the water.


She climbed out of the pool, and the sun came out from behind a puffy white cloud. She climbed up the side of the rocks facing the ocean and the waves pounded the shore just beyond her, about a stone’s throw.


She turned and looked back, and was amazed at this place. A blue pool was surrounded by coral of all colors, like castle walls surrounding a pool of her own. She knew that in all this beauty there was danger with the tide, and she would have to leave before the ocean waves covered up this coral again.


She climbed up the rocks and found some coconuts that had been blown down by the storm, and broke them open on the jagged edges of this new-found paradise. Small colored fish appeared in the blue pool at the center of this coral sanctuary. Red, yellow, and blue coral surrounded her as she sat by the pool and ate. As she placed her feet in the water, sitting on the edge of the pool, she saw her reflection and a beautiful smile appeared as she stretched and held her head up to catch the rays of the sun shining down on her.


There would be comfort and beauty on this side of the cave, and safety from the storms on the other side. It was incredible that she had never found this place before!


Days went by, and in the evening Kelei was found on the dark side of the cave, and mornings would find Kelei on the beautiful side of the cave. The blue pool with its warm water and small colored fish kept her fascination for hours on end. Then she would swim to the other side in the evening and sleep till the morning light would shine into the entrance of the cave.


“The beautiful side is where coral and color are my companions,

Where the warm sun greets me in the morn’,

Where food is near and I have no fear.

Keep me here, safe from what I fear,

And teach me mysteries of the night.”


One day she was enjoying the beautiful side of the cave when the sun went dark. At first she thought it was another tropical storm, but the wind wasn’t blowing. She felt the ground shake, and saw coral fall into the pool below. Panic filled her.


She dove into the pool, and out to the other side, to the safe side of the cave. She went up and out of the entrance to the blue pool on the other side as fast as she could. She cut her foot and her leg on the jagged edges of the cave, and grabbing her things near the main entrance to the cave she ran away and fell down in the green surrounding the cave.


The ground shook more, and she was crying, in a panic to get away from the cave. She ran toward her hut, and fell down again. Behind her smoke bellowed out of the entrance to the cave. She knew what had happened. She found her hut torn to pieces by the storm that hit days before, and sat and cried out in anguish.



“I know what happened. The coral is destroyed. It’s gone.”


Days later she found a way to the other side of the island, to a lofty point where she could see below to the place where she had been. Coral was no longer there. Smoke was rising from lava that had flowed into her favorite place. She went lower, and saw nothing but black and fire. The blue pool was gone, the fish died, the coral was gone.


“Everything is gone. EVERYTHING!”

Then she remembered the day they buried the one she loved.

A person

With feelings, smiling, laughing, enjoying life

A person

Loved, needed, enjoyed

Beautiful eyes, beautiful thoughts, a sacred gift

A person

Who walks, and talks, and loves, and even fights

Who gets cold and hot and cries and laughs a lot…

And you can’t find a way

To say how much you need them

A person

Who made up your world – not like anything else -

A person

Flowing to and from you like the waves

Like gentle waves that almost touch your toes

Like a breeze that is never idle

A person –


Is now DIRT




Nothing but dirt, nothing but nothing,



How can a person become such an ugly thing?

You dig a hole and put them outside

When they used to come in from a storm

You put a stone in the earth with their name

That becomes unknown to most

In just a few years





A voice came in the silence as Kalai wept on her knees,


“The coral was beautiful,

In the warmth of the sunlight,

In the blue pool was reflected

An awesome sight

The smile of the one I created…

I loved to see your smile by the pool.”


She stood up in a rage. She raised both her arms, clenched fists extended to the heavens, talking in whispers because she was too upset to use her voice,





“Every time I love something, every time I smile, every time I just begin to start over, the world crashes in around me. Now there is NOTHING. The beautiful coral, the beautiful pool, the fish, the places of beauty and safety are GONE. I have no safety now, I have no beauty now, I have nothing to look forward to, nothing will ever work out on this desolate, barren BLACK ROCK! I HAVE NOTHING!”


“There is nothing left…”


She crumpled down, sobbing, tears unceasing. Everything was ruined, everything was gone. She couldn’t stop thinking those words.


She heard a small, still voice ask,




She looked out over the ocean, the waves crashing below against the black rock, steam coming up from her favorite place now in ruins, and answered,


“Yes, everything.”


Then the still small voice asked her a question,


“What about me?”


She gritted her teeth and wouldn’t answer. She clenched her fists harder. Anger held her heart in gridlock.


Then the still small voice spoke to her again,


“If all the beauty in the world were suddenly destroyed,

And all the dreams were crushed,

And all the hope was gone,

And all the world was barren,

Where would the maker of dreams, the creator of the world, the author of hope and beauty be?

Would the blackness, the emptiness, the coldness of losing the one you love make you blind and keep you from seeing me?”


“I am the Lord, who forms light,

And creates darkness,

Who creates peace,

And causes calamity,

I am the Lord who does all this.”                    (Isaiah 45:7)


“I am the Lord, who inhabits eternity,

And I dwell in a high and holy place.

I also dwell with the contrite,

And lowly of spirit,

In order to revive the heart of the contrite,

In order to revive the spirit of the lowly.”         (Isaiah 57:15)


“You smiled at the coral, at the fish, at the beautiful pool. You were delighted with what I gave to you, but when the coral was gone your smile was gone. I came to you by the pool, but you didn’t notice me. You didn’t smile when you heard my voice. You weren’t happy to see or hear from me.”


“All you see is barren black, barren dirt, and a barren future, and you have forgotten the one who makes the future.  For now you only see dirt and a gravestone, for now you only see the barren blackness, but someday you will see the one you love again. I am not the God of the dead, but I am the God of the living.”


“I will make the blackness you see below come alive again someday. And I will make all things new.”

Kalai knew this was true. “I’m sorry, please forgive me. Please open my eyes so that I might see only you in this place.


The sun was a large orange disk now, slowly sinking into the blue ocean before her.  She remembered what she had learned years ago,

 “Eye has not seen, neither has the ear heard, nor has the heart of mankind imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

(I Corinthians 2:9)

The coral was gone. The one she loved was gone.

But now her clenched fists opened up, and reached into the sky, and she worshipped the maker of all things. God was here.


Her Master spoke softly to her,

“I am your safety, I am your security, I am the maker and giver of beauty, and I am the one who cares for you in the silence, in the background, while you are awake, and while you are asleep.”

Listen to the song “Emerald Isle” on the Desertsnow CD

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Blue Ballerina” was written for those who have lost someone because of a crime.