I admit it.
I am unsettled.
Around 1.52 EST, sitting in my office in the house at the computer, I felt the house move in a way I hadn’t experienced before. My son and I met each other in the hallway and went outside into the beauty of a very early fall sort of day and stood there just looking at the house. Nothing seemed amiss and about the same time, we looked at each other and said with questioning voices, “Earthquake?”
Back into the house we went. Ben beat me to FB from his newer computer and shouted out that it was an earthquake, a big one somewhere between Richmond and Charlottesville, which suddenly seem much closer to us in these western mountains of Virginia.
I went to the church FB and checked that folks were ok and then turned on the news to hear reports, see pictures of evacuations and digest this latest evidence that my security simply cannot rest on the assumption that today will always be much as yesterday was.
Without working cell phones in these hills, I’m so glad for the technology that lets us reach out to those we love near and far so quickly.
But it is television that reminds me more than any other medium of communication both how very connected and how very disconnected we are from each other. All thoughts of Libya and Syria fled from the national consciousness in the U. S. as reports came in about the quake, while in Libya and Syria, undoubtedly nobody was giving much thought to what was happening beneath the earth’s crust an ocean away.
And reports continue to come in about how far away tremors were felt – as far as Detroit, roughly 400 miles from the center of the quake in Virginia.
We are literally connected, each to the other. The very earth itself is connected and thus are we. How often do I need to relearn this lesson? What happens in Virginia affects people living in Detroit and beyond. Provincial, concerned only with my immediate environ, is a luxury adjective I cannot afford.
It is my job, as a human being, to be mindful of others, even, and perhaps especially, when they shake me up.
As I said, I am unsettled.
Maybe that’s a good thing.