Wednesday, March 2, 2011

little earthquakes

A casual friend of mine from my days in California moved to Christchurch, New Zealand shortly before I moved to New York.  In February, Christchurch was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, and continues to be ravaged by strong aftershocks. 

Christchurch: devastation, but also a lucky escape (Photo: Getty)
(some of the damage after the original 7.1 quake)

This is the same magnitude that hit Haiti, but due to significantly better infrastructure (ahem, more money) Christchurch is fairing much better than Port-au-Prince.  Nonetheless, the residents of Christchurch are devastated.  This morning, I read stories of people living with no water, no electricity, no sewer.  Stories of children learning that even a "small" earthquake means "go under the table" in case their house crumbles around them from being damaged so many times.  Stories of families leaving their homes because they are no longer habitable. 

Recently, our family has been going through rough times.  Money is tight, the stress is never ending.  It seems like there is no end to the emotional turmoil.  Sometimes, in my more melodramatic moments, I feel like my life is crumbling around me.  But reading about the residents of Christchurch today, I realized how small my earthquakes really are.  Their lives are literally crumbling around them.

The man I know that lives, or rather lived, in Christchurch wrote about how his love for his wife has gotten him through the devastation of losing his home and his livelihood.  Thinking of our neighbors on the other side of the globe reminds me to nurture and strengthen the love in our family during all earthquakes, large and small.  It's all we have, really, to get us through. 

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