I watched some of the video coming out of Japan. One was of the tsunami “slowly” overtaking a town. It was surreal as the water, over a period of minutes, crept across the landscape, showing up first on the streets, then the floors of stores and then creeping up and up until the buildings were floating. It was so strange because I had envisioned that a tsunami would be quick, powerful and immediate, like a flash wall of water taking seconds to wipe out all in its path. It was six minutes long. Yet it seemed like it took an hour. There were people walking up the path as the water rose and they continued watching it. What struck me was the calmness that they exhibited as they witnessed so many lives and livelihoods wash away before their eyes. Then I read an article today about a shelter where the people are cultivating a sense of calm in the face of the utter devastation and scarcity that is facing Japan and its people. I think about that and how fear and panic can overtake us all. Especially in the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami, more earthquakes, nuclear threats and on and on. Yet I am awestruck by the grace of those in Japan.
I again open my hear to everyone affected. I hope that each and every person in Japan can take comfort in knowing that they are role models for all of us for handling such adversity. I only hope that we can draw upon their strength should such calamity strike us.
It has been a time of turbulence. Not sure where to begin. So I suppose I will begin with the turbulence of greatest magnitude: the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The power of nature to create and destroy is phenomenal. I think about the seeds that I plant in soil, add water and the amazing plants that sprout, grow and produce fruit. Then I watch the magnitude of destruction wrought by the natural shifting of the earth’s plates when humans live nearby. The sheer power of nature. Just when we all think that we can control and tame nature, we are rudely reminded that nature is a force of its own and we are simply part of its cycle, neither above it or below it, just simply part of its chain. When the images from Japan became too much for me, I took to the garden. I worked to connect with the same life force that ended so many. I worked to clean out the cold frame where I over wintered my herbs, clearing out debris and leaves and cutting back dead twigs. I planted lettuce seedlings and planted lettuce seeds in pots. After Hagrid from Hell wiped out my pots (for the second time!!) from Calvin’s room, I came up with a THIRD option: encasing the pots in an enclosed cage to prevent Hagrid from getting to them (see the photos) and replanted the pots that Hagrid had upended and figured three time is a charm. Then I put those that would not fit in the enclosure high on top of my cabinets. I am considering the need to put a heating pad underneath them for germination to occur as it is still a bit too chilly in the house. Anyway, I open my heart to everyone in Japan who is dealing with the aftermath of nature’s cycles…….
As I was talking about the subject of this blog to Calvin, my seven year son, and the issue of nature, he offered these words of wisdom:
“Some of the worst earthquakes are the one’s we make. Sometimes you can make a big earthquake for yourself. Like war and bad habits. These are the world’s hardest earthquakes in themselves.”
So in a future blog, I will turn to the issues of peace and war, things the making of man, not nature.