Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Being a Victorian

Ah, the weighty quiet. There may not have been much posting going on here, but that's not for lack of a very busy mind. I'm feeling pretty consumed by world events, truth be told, and wondering what the future holds. I try to keep things fairly light here, but I think these thoughts are worth expressing in the space outside my own head.

I'm going to let you in on my biggest phobia. Since I was a child there has been nothing that could send me into a panic quicker than a news report of an earthquake somewhere in the world. The tragic news of New Zealand so quickly followed by all Japan has been facing has sent me reeling.

I'm the girl who at 10 years old packed away all my belongings for fear that an earthquake would hit. I removed pictures from the walls of my room and tucked all my precious play things away. My unicorn figurines were carefully wrapped so nothing could break them.

This fear is not soothed by living on the west coast of Canada. We live along the same Pacific Ring of Fire that Japan sits on and every time a major earthquake takes place we get news reports warning British Columbians of the havoc we'll face once 'the big one' hits. I've experienced lots of little ones... some bearing diving under my desk, other tremors so minor they're over before I figure out where to find cover.

Five years ago, my beloved and I moved here to the Island from the mainland. Somehow it felt a little safer on the mainland, but we now live in a place where a tsunami would pose a real threat. I face my biggest fear by living here, but I'm not prepared to move. I adore Victoria and being a Victorian (still so amused that I get to call myself a Victorian!) and have a sense of belonging here I've never experienced anywhere else.

I'm no longer worried about my things getting broken but rather losing my loved ones. And my loved ones include this little city. My drafty old house is full of little cracks in the plaster from the seismic shifts it has gone through over the course of 80 years. We wake sometimes to crooked paintings on the walls. We keep a small closet full of emergency supplies. We are aware of our vulnerability here but, as with all forms of love, we remain with open hearts even though we may someday get hurt.



P.S. If you have not done so already, please consider making a donation to help relief efforts.

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