Tuesday, February 22, 2011
As a child, I lived in an "earthquake zone." To be sure, it was a rare event when we experienced a temblor, but I can remember one like it was yesterday. My mother rushed in to my bedroom--I must have been about four, maybe? The house was, indeed, moving around, but nothing tipped over (my 66-year-old memory says) and nothing came apart. but I do recall a cavernous grumbling sound. Thankfully, the little house by the bay had been built by my father to be strong and protective. Mother, too, was protective. She sheltered me beneath her, draped over my little frame until the earth settled back down.
I experienced another when I was attending the University of Washington. I lived in a newly built dormitory, constructed a bit like the Twin Towers. I can remember the towers swaying back and forth as I made my way to stand under the doorway as I'd been taught to do, even as a child. Again, fortunately, nothing particularly large came adrift in my circumstance. However, other parts of Seattle weren't so lucky. MM was working at the Boeing Company and he recalls ceiling material coming loose, and on his way home that evening saw much structural damage to buildings and streets.
I mention this, today, as my New Zealand online friend, Julia, emailed me late (our time) last night to assure me that she was, herself, all right, but that they had heard no word yet, from many friends and family in Christchurch. Julia's farm isn't far from there. Her blog is Island Home and though she's been taking a break lately in deference to serious gardening this past summer, her previous postings have been so engaging and lovely, and I look forward to her resuming this coming fall and winter "down" there. I've come to know her only through blogging, but she is a dear.
We lived in New Zealand for a short time and have never forgotten the experience of meeting some of the most wonderful and generous people on earth. A peaceful, gentle country with love in its heart.
So, it is with sorrow that I ponder the horrific scenes in Christchurch, and can only stand by helpless and unable to do anything. You can get an idea of the utter devastation by going to www.nzherald.com I cannot imagine where one begins in starting over, not to mention the multiple tragedies which will be experienced by many on this tiny island country. Which brings up the situation in Haiti, an island country as well, and which remains a zone of complete tragedy and paralyzing destruction.
Julia, my heart goes out to you and your country. I only wish we lived (in a safe place) closer, so I could help. As best you can--and I believe the civil defense is trying to keep the communications "uncluttered" allowing folks to use the Internet for finding relatives and friends--keep us posted. We're sending prayers your way.