Earthquake

Last year was full of new experiences, one included earthquakes. It wasn’t a real one, it was more like a passing tremor but I loved all five seconds of it. I was at home on my bed when it started. I sincerely thought someone was working with heavy machinery outside, till I heard someone yell “Earthquake is passing!” and then I tried to absorb every moment of it. What intrigued me however was my calm the entire time, I just sat still on my bed, I didn’t move, neither was I terrified. I just sat there smiling to myself with the widest, sheepish grin my face could carry till it was over. I was happy.

This was my first experience and I should have been terrified or at least panicky. I wasn’t. Why? I’d watched videos and heard crazy earthquake stories and I’d thought I’d just sprint off into a frenzy but I didn’t. I also experienced my first hurricane/storm/flooding this year. It was a normal school day and it had been raining non stop for the past three days, which was somewhat normal, but this particular rain had come with violent winds. At about 1pm the school secretary announced that we should all go home as the country was now on storm watch and we should buy supplies and stay indoors.

The only thing I heard out of all her sentences was “There will be no school tomorrow” and being the stressed out student I was, I was elated and rushed to the nearby supermarket on my way home even though I had no money. Gathering what was left of the coins I’d swiped off the table earlier in the day for my transport fare, I bought a loaf of bread and a tin of tomatoes, I was going to make sauce to eat the rice I had at home till the storm passed. but little did I know what awaited me. I got home and met the shock of my life, they had cut off the water supply due to the flooding which had destroyed some pipes and I hadn’t stored any water the previous day or earlier that morning as I was also in a haste to get to my 8am class. I had no water to drink, cook, bathe or flush the toilet in that matter.

I analyzed the entire situation carefully and concluded that whatever would happen should happen. I got into my room, changed my clothes and thanked God for the inventor of Wi-Fi which by the way was never seized throughout the storm but for some reason the water was. I occupied myself with watching videos and reading articles as the wind was howling and swaying the trees outside my window. I  eventually got bored with spending time on my laptop, then my curiosity dragged me outside, to my balcony where I was sent running back with full force by the largest sheet of lightning I’d ever seen. Wrapped under my blanket I confessed all my sins as I thought I was definitely dead. Then, I noticed the silence for the first time, despite the thundering sounds  of rain droplets hitting my roof and the loud booming of thunder . I remembered I was alone at home. I eventually drifted into thought and ended up listening to many voices in my head till I slept off.

The storm lasted four whole days, and at some point I had to go outside to fetch water for house use. Needless to say, I was heavily beaten by the rain, literally, as the wind had modified the rain droplets into whips that lashed on my back. After the storm had passed, it was good to see the scorching sun again and never had I ever enjoyed sweating more.

One thing was consistent about this experience, just like  during the earthquake, I was calm because I knew it would pass. I realized that despite the chaos outside and the overwhelming loneliness of my apartment, I managed to find calm within myself. It’s a lesson I never want to forget.

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