Feeling the Earth Move

May 18th, 2009

Last night we had a relatively small earthquake here in Southern California, and no matter how many of them I’ve experienced, it always feels like a stark reminder of the power, magnificence and unpredictability of our planet.  As a result, the delicate nature of life and mortality also comes into clearer focus. When I visited Kilauea last summer (the active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii), I was awestruck, and in a smaller way, the earthquake also takes me into the wonder of nature and falsifies the idea that somehow we have any control over our environment.

After 21 years of living in Los Angeles and witnessing every imaginable natural disaster, I’ve grown to believe that these so-called tragedies are part of the natural evolution of the earth, and we simply chose to develop this metropolis in a highly-vulnerable region.  By choosing to settle here, I choose to live with the earth moving from time to time, the wildfires raging every fire season, the mudslides often following the fires and sometimes flooding when an “El Niño” year is upon us.

Accepting life on life’s terms and making informed choices based on these factors is often the best we can do.  So if you feel the Earth move beneath you, just remember that it’s a reminder of being alive and  another chance to take stock of what really matters.

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