There are certainly various levels of awe, and this level, from the edge of an exploding volcano, looks way down upon the others. The warlike booms continue, one after another, storms of lava lighting up the sky. Each heated piece of rock leaves a trace of light arcing across the dark chasm. Adding to the moment is the sun. It’s setting on the horizon, appearing for all the world to be distant kin to the mountain at my feet. Gradually, as darkness settles, the volcano’s power becomes more humbling than fearsome — much like the dancers earlier in the day, Maori Chief Hone Mahiki, and the children who greeted us on Utupua. No, from the very beginning to this unforgettable moment, I did not know what to expect. And that, it turns out, can be a beautiful thing.