This morning I awoke to a trembling house. Coming out of a dream state, I was confused, was some one smashing around in the kitchen? did the freezer blow up? When my bed started to rattle, I realized I was experiencing my first earthquake.
The whole house shuddered; plates rattled in the kitchen. The neighbourhood dogs fell silent and then . . it was all over. For those few moments, I was worried, wondering if it was going to be a biggie, were we going to see another wave? I started to understand the fear of those living on the East Coast. At any rumble they’re off in to the mountains with out hesitation. The last earthquake warning had people cluttered all the way up to the highest peaks.
Today I felt at the hands of nature, rather insignificant. This all reminded me of a conversation with a rather eloquent ten-year-old from Uafatu. She asked me; “You know we’re standing on one big explosion aye girl? We’re on the guts of a volcano.” It’s a pretty cool way to put it. Yes Samoa came right out of the ocean. Tectonic plate movements, explosion, lava flow, land mass and now it is a nation that thousands live on. Yes we have made a home out of the guts of a volcano. COOL.
But when you put it that way, it does sound like a precarious place to call home, this floating piece of lava. We’re subject to the elements, dotted in the Pacific, very close to a fault line and surrounded by volcanoes. When I was a girl – living in Auckland, my informative elder brother told me we were all done for if White Island blew up. It was going to be a chain reaction that would blow up every volcano in Auckland and subsequently, US! I worried, I pleaded with my mum to move, I became weary of visiting mountains and then . . . life went on.
There is a moral; do not live in ‘what ifs’, anywhere you go, you are in the hands of Mother Nature. Someone said, “You’re crazy to go to Samoa, what if another wave comes?” This is life, if I lived frightened of every natural disaster, I would never have back packed through Santiago, slept on the banks of the Amazon river or flown a kite at the top of Mount Eden.
Be wary, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all just living on the guts of a volcano?