Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Instance of Time

My general intention with this blog is to learn what I can learn from local backyard observations of nature---and to write only what I observe first hand.   I will continue in that vain---but must digress today to comment on the larger natural picture of recent earthquakes the world over that are shaking our very foundations----from Indonesia, to China, to Haiti, to New Zealand, and now the worst of the worst in northern Japan.

While I try to keep my ear on the comforting post-earthquake words of the Reverend Dean Peter Beck of Christchurch Cathedral, which bear repeating, ("It was not an act of God. It was the earth doing what the earth does. The act of God in this tragedy is the hand of the people reaching out in aid to each other." ) still, the toll of such disasters on life and human society as we know it, and the question of how to respond from safe and comfortable distances, sometimes become overwhelming.  These are some of those times.   It causes me to contemplate the "speck of dust" nature of all of our existences and how one instant of time can change everything.

One effect of that is to put into perspective the miniscule nature of the daily struggles with which we often concern ourselves---that is---the insignificance of the event about which I posted yesterday (a tree root cracking the brick wall that holds up our front yard) in the face of the total annihilation of a city by a tsunami wave.

But the other more lasting effect, I hope, is to renew our commitments to each other in our daily affairs, and to resolve to make every human encounter one that improves the moment for the people involved---because that's all we can really be sure of---the moment---and we owe it to ourselves and to those within our sphere of influence to enhance those present moments.  dkm


Jan Kauffman said...

Thanks for sharing your blog with me. Your last entry reminds me too how very fragile our lives are and how important it is to live in the moment and cherish our human commitments......

dkm said...

Your comment touches me deeply, Jan, because you have experienced in the most heart-breaking way imaginable the devastation a single phone call can bring. I'm excited to think of the well-deserved joy your new life and blog will bring you.

Patricia Lichen said...

What lovely words about the terrible events in Japan. I've been thinking about this too--especially because I used to work for Greenpeace and spent time in a whaling town called Ayukawa that was wiped out by the tsunami. If you're interested in seeing my thoughts on this, please visit www.patriciaklichen.com.

Great idea behind this blog--paying close attention to the natural world!