I awoke to the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and have been horrified by images of the countryside being scoured away by the wall of water that engulfed the northern Japanese countryside. Houses, cars, buildings, fishing boats, ocean liners tossed about like so many matchsticks, and all occupied on a work-a-day Friday afternoon. I can so easily imagine being in my own car, driving along my own familiar streets, doing my own afternoon errands, thinking about what I’m going to fix for supper or any other number of mundane everyday worries, when suddenly my whole world is washed away with me in it.
It’s so easy to forget that we are hurdling through the vacuum of space at a million billion miles per hour, sheltered by a thin, fragile wisp of an atmosphere, and that what seems solid under our feet is really but islands of rock and soil floating on the earth’s molten interior. I spend so much time worrying and fretting about things so meaningless and insignificant in the face of the fragility of life on this planet, in the face of this loss of life and destruction.
I can’t even remember the whole quote, the one that says “Be quick to love; make haste to be kind.” to which I am compelled to add, “Don’t postpone joy.” But knowing that I am alive, feeling every molecule of air on my skin and every breath of spring breeze on my face, and being glad, no, enraptured in ecstasy because of it, seems the only good, the only hope, that will emerge for me today from this astounding tragedy.