The Goddess Speaks
Peaceful day amid rumbles
WHEN THE first earthquake struck, like most people I didn't know what was happening. When the rumbling grew louder and with our house violently shaking, I thought a tornado or a hurricane was ripping through our home.
With "Wizard of Oz" images running though my head, I raced upstairs to find pictures falling off our bookcase, and I realized it was an earthquake. I yelled at my girls to get downstairs, to the safer part of our home. Once the shaking stopped we huddled together, trying to calm our rattled nerves. The power went off not long after.
The rest of the day was just about the best day we had spent together in a long, long time.
Soon after, we left for church as usual. There we made coffee on a gas stove by boiling water and pouring the grounds into the pot. Some referred to it as cowboy coffee, but I thought it was the best cup I'd ever had. The musicians played without microphones and natural lighting soothed the sanctuary. Afterward, people lingered. No one seemed in a hurry to go anywhere, and it felt good.
Later, my daughter and I went to Safeway, where people were in good spirits as they rummaged around the store, some using flashlights to shop. Everyone seemed relaxed. My daughter and I had fun walking the dark aisles. We'd watched enough "Survivor" on TV and now had our own opportunity to "rough it."
The day was a challenge, but I believe we all rose to the occasion.
We lounged around at home, with nothing much to do. I poked though my book collection and took out a memoir my mother had written in 1997. Though I had read it years ago, I hunkered down and read it again, finishing by flashlight. I know I wouldn't have read it again if not for the earthquake.
This forced slowdown felt like a gift from Mother Nature, making us change our routines and find meaningful things to do.
There is something so beautiful about being still, about silence. About peacefulness. About stepping away from the craziness of life and doing the things we just don't give ourselves permission to do.
The earthquakes forced many of us to stay at home in quiet activities with our families. No computers, TVs, cell phones. No interruptions. Just spending time together.
I am thankful that no one was hurt. I am also tremendously thankful for the reminder that with all the things to do in life, and of all the places to go, there truly is no place like home.
Carol Ramie runs Island Investigative Services with her husband.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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