The air is heavy around us, inside and out. The stillness of our back yard belies the catastrophe mere miles from where I type this. There are folks getting evacuated, houses with floating furniture, road grade bridges getting swept out, and the government says to stay inside.
This is the nearest I’ve ever lived to anything like a natural disaster. Of course, the scale of our little Central PA disaster is less than nothing when paralleled with the atrocity of Katrina, or with the tsunami in Japan of the last few years. Still, I find myself in a meditative state, feeling considerable fear and worry and like it would be inappropriate for me to do anything besides hunker down here, worrying and waiting.
A little while ago, Brad went to the grocery store to buy some more yeast after ours got too warm in the move because he was making a DIY Carbon Dioxide creator for his fish tank. He is clever. But when he returned regretting that he didn’t retrieve some vegetables to add to our dinner, it felt wrong to suggest he leave again, or that we all go in a bit. Like it’s wrong to have normalcy when so many people around us are displaced or suffering or experiencing incredible loss.
He also said God is mad at us. I find that to be a puzzling sentiment. I have forgotten so much of the Bible and revised my ideas about God to such an extent that I want to view whatever god is as a benevolent force. One that creates balance in nature, and if that means displacing some humans, in the universal scheme of things, we’re all just organisms.
Maybe those shad ladders and dams will get displaced and the Susquehanna will have shad again. Maybe this is some kind of destiny thing and we’ll learn something vast and significant or we’ll be left with a ground drenched with an antibody that will wind up curing cancer.
We forget that this planet is so massive that even if we put all the human beings on its surface into a ball, we would still be tiny as compared to Earth. One of the things my dad said that has stayed with me and still strikes me as wise is “Earth could shake us off like an ant if it wanted to.”