This year is certainly shaping up to be one of natural disasters. I did spend a couple of hours watching the news last night because the images of the quake and subsequent tsunami were incredibly mesmerizing. Mother nature's raw power initially evoke thoughts of anger and fury, as if she's 'paying us back' for what we've done to the earth. But thats not true. The threat, potential and realization of these disasters have been around through the ages. Unfortunately, our modern lives have evolved in ways that maybe amplify the damage in terms of human lives and loss of livelihoods.
During the Queensland floods, we didn't get to watch any news coverage because of the power outage. When we finally could, I was glued to the TV. When the Christchurch earthquake hit, I watched a little of the news and read bits of it in the newspaper. It just seemed to sad to read about the destruction and emotional turmoil that all these people were thrown into. And now with this latest quake in Japan, I was particularly interested in the footage of the tsunami because its the first time I've seen what they mean by a 'wall of water'. (Somehow, I didn't see any of it during the Indonesian quake in 2004).
Stories of survivors are always uplifting but they're always accompanied by stories of the many more that have died or lost loved ones. I've managed to get in touch with some of my friends in Japan but there is still one more I haven't heard from. Thankfully, they all life in Tokyo. I find myself not wanting to watch all the details of what is happening on the ground level in Japan now. A quick glance of the headlines this morning to know that they now have the threat of a radiation leak and a death toll of potentially over 1000 is depressing enough.
Instead, I am reminded today of how thankful I need to be of all that I have. The family that I have, the house that we live in, the money that we have to pay for food and education, the relative stability of the country we live in and overall, the general contentment and lack of serious worries in my life.