Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stunning tsunami

It's early Friday evening as I write this, and we still don't have all the details about the losses of life and property in the Pacific from the earthquake and resultant tsunami that hit there early Friday, our time.  Back here in the East, we deal with rain and lots of it some days, snow in varying degrees, wind, heat, humidity, thunder and lightning, but "earthquake" and "fault lines" and "Richter scale" are not terms in our everyday lexicon.

But we connect.  We have a dear friend Jonie, who lives in Los Angeles, and whose late Mother has family in Japan.  A woman from work, who hails from the Philippines, left Baltimore to go see family there just yesterday morning.  Another woman from work has a daughter who married a fellow who's in the service, and they are stationed in Hawaii.  And of course, our dear friend Solange, who with Peruvian roots was raised here in Baltimore and now lives and works in Hawaii.  She once sent us a picture postcard that showed the view she sees on her way to work in the morning - a glorious sunrise over a tropical beach with the blue Pacific surf.  I often think of that postcard on MY way to work, as I try to dodge the Dumpster trucks, school buses, aging Toyotas filled with high school kids hopped up on Sunny D and Pop Tarts, and the pretzel delivery StepVans that make my ride so enjoyable, if not scenic. 

It's a big wide world, and yet everybody's got to be somewhere.  We think of those friends and the millions of others affected by this one rumble from nature.  And back here, we have friends with ill family members, and we want to do all we can to support them.  I used to see this during my 911 days: one calltaker would be dealing with helping a new father help his wife deliver their new baby, while another calltaker played solitaire.  The world is full of microcosms, and maybe that's so we can understand the big picture by breaking it down into millions of little ones.

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