Now, of course, I could be talking about the relatively large earthquake that was centered about 70 miles away from my little town. After all, a 5.8 is capable of a great deal of damage and was certainly something we felt, and heard, at the time.
I am discussing that, but my real thought is this ~ we consider that we stand on a solid foundation. After all, we live in a stable land, and though there is some economic upheaval we haven’t had foreign troops here for centuries and attacks are rare. So, we feel as if we’re on solid ground in a lot of ways.
So, when that solid ground shakes and your house makes noises as if you’ll soon see the Wicked Witch of the East cycling by, you stop and take notice. Well, let’s face it, you try to make sense of it, anyway. The earth doesn’t move enough for us to sense it very often so I find that I don’t believe it when it does happen, at least until there is enough hard evidence to convince me.
This despite the fact that I grew up in Southern California and have been in many earthquakes. And it turns out that earthquakes out west seem to be more disruptive because the fault lines and the ground temperatures are different out there than they are here. Here in the east the shock effect seems to go wider and less deep than it does out there.
Yet for all that, it was a major turning point. Now, we did have a rather hilarious reaction here in the sheltered, at least from earthquakes, eastern seaboard. Radio shows immediately noted that we were in one of those “where were you when it hit” situations, though it was at best a faint echo of the last one of those for the US, and a bit of a ridiculous contrast to the massive devastation wrought by the earthquake/tsunami just 5 months ago in Japan.
But it was a turning point, nonetheless, for it made us realize, if only for the time the adrenaline ran through us, that we have grown accustomed to a stable foundation, and that we build on that foundation every day. For when that stable foundation appears to have cracks, we take immediate notice and feel obliged to change our routine, and perhaps our perspective, for a brief instant.
So, we called and texted and tweeted and got on Facebook to let everyone know that we were ok and then to make the obligatory jokes. And then we stood outside and talked to each other about where we were, or waved at each other as we trying to get somewhere with the entire Federal workforce released at the same time.
And then, perhaps, we thought, heck, maybe this isn’t always guaranteed and the ground could swallow us up or there could be a massive hurricane or the waves could sweep away entire towns. For an instant perhaps, we thought that we should do all those things we’ve been thinking we could do when we had time. We all know that time is fleeting but we do enjoy our routines, even when those routines are not really tremendously satisfying. So perhaps we then decide to make the necessary changes.
We’d believe that we had been changed because of some kind of massive event outside of us. And yet, we’d know that we can never change from the outside in, we have to change from the inside out
But haven’t people changed after cataclysmic events? Of course. And they used the impetus gained from that event to make the decision and acted on it. But the real decision was, and always is, internal and personal.
So, is it perhaps time to live as we ought to? To keep those promises to ourselves, to stretch our boundaries, to make our dreams our living reality? Well, for me, it is high time and now that I’ve had my core shaken I can start to live from it again.