Niaulani Rainforest Reserve, Volcano Village, Hawaii.

Scrape your shoes against the stiff metal brushes at the trailhead. Knock off any traces of invasive seeds, or the fungus that causes Rapid Ohia Death. This forest sprouted more than 300 years ago, before King Kamehameha 1 united the islands, before Capt. Cook arrived with his cargo of disease, before logging, ranching, farming, and tourism wiped out nearly all the native forests.

Latch the gate behind you. Feral pigs, brought for food by the original Polynesian settlers, will destroy the forest with their bulldozing snouts and voracious appetites. Enter a respite from the crowded buses in the Volcanoes National Park and the frenzied conformity of the resorts and golf courses along the Kona Coast. This four-acre parcel of old-growth Hawaiian forest is lovingly tended and protected by dedicated volunteers.

Inside the gate, sounds of cars, dogs, voices, chickens are muffled. Here, rain does not fall directly on your head but drips through the dense canopy. Find peace in the chaos of a healthy rainforest. Ferns beside you, above your head, at your feet, moss clinging to stumps and trunks, bromeliads drooping from nooks in trees, ohia and koa trees so tall your neck kinks from trying to spot the red and black apapanes whirring at their tops. Let the forest seep into you, its moisture penetrating your coat, shoes, hair, finding its way into your skin. Walk slowly, read the interpretative signs, learn the traditional uses of native plants—medicine, dye, clothing, food, shelter, canoes—a forest vital to survival, preserved, a living classroom to remember and revive the ancient ways. Pause here, renew your spirit, but remember, Pele is near. With one spectacular explosion, all could disappear.