Natural Disasters

When I woke this morning, word about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan was the first thing scrolling on my morning news show. How terrifying. My heart goes out to the people in the path of this natural disaster and I’m praying for my dear readers in Hawaii who may be next.

It’s hard for me to imagine something scarier than an earthquake, but I’m no stranger to natural disasters. I grew up in Tornado Alley. Every summer, we’d hear the sirens and head for the basement, huddling below ground while the wind roared above us. I’d seen the Wizard of Oz. I knew the whole house could go without warning.

Once when we lived in Park City, Utah, we had to evacuate our house because an approaching forest fire raged out of control. There was no time to pack, no chance to gather up anything. I could only leash up the dogs and start walking out of our mountainside neighborhood while ash fell around us like gray snow.

At times like that, you realize the things you accumulate as you go through life, while they sometimes seem terribly dear, really aren’t that important. Walking away from my house and everything in it made me cherish the people and pets in my life all the more.

I remember my grandparents telling about losing their home to a house fire. They had just enough time to get their three children and a lamb they’d been bottle feeding in the kitchen out of their farm house before it burned to the ground. I don’t remember them ever bemoaning the loss of their things because they saved the important ones.

Fortunately, a tornado never removed a house from over my head and the forest fire was brought under control before it reached my home, but I hold my things in an open palm because of it. Things don’t matter. They can be replaced. Even the irreplaceable photos and one-of-a-kind mementoes  are indelibly etched in my memory so I can’t really lose them.

Living souls are the only real treasure, the only loss worth mourning. So I pray for all the souls in the path of this current disaster. My heart aches for the families who’ve already lost loved ones and for those who may learn they have in the coming days.

7 thoughts on “Natural Disasters

  1. Sara Sasek says:

    It’s made me very thankful for the blessings I have in my life and instead of petitioning the universe for myself, I’ve been praying for everyone.

    A friend of mine told me that whenever I think about the tragedy, to send thoughts of healing and hope because she says love can travel anywhere.

  2. Mia says:

    Oh, Jane, I hope you’re feeling better. Surgery of any kind is all it’s cracked down to be.

    The strength and resilience of the people of Japan is amazing.

  3. Jane L says:

    I have been recovering since Thursday from surgery in my mouth and I have watched the news non-stop. Sometimes I can’t help breaking down in tears. What devastation to a country so amazing. I know they will come back strong, but you just feel the pain of their suffering through the media. I pray for the strength they need to survive the coming days!

  4. Deb says:

    I just feel sick for the people of Japan. The devastation is horrific. Our nephew Scott and his wife Heather live in the Marshall Islands and we were worried sick about them as well, but, praise God, they are fine.

    We head to the basement in summers, too, when tornado warnings are issued here in Iowa. My daughter is petrified of any storm, but tornadoes scare her terribly. We’ve never had damage and I am thankful for that.

    1. Mia says:

      I guess because I grew up with tornadoes they don’t scare me like the idea of the earth shaking uncontrollably does. Then add the horror of a tsunami on top of it…

      I’m so proud to see our servicemen and women helping with the rescue and giving humanitarian aid.

  5. Carol L says:

    Isn’t it just devastating. I cried for these people and the loved ones they have lost. Nothing can prepare anyone for losses like this. The shock, grief and turmoil. But you are so right. Material things that we even cherish aren’t as important when it comes to our real treasures.Tornadoes scare me to death. God Bless you for getting through those. :)
    Carol L

    1. Mia says:

      Everyday it just gets worse in Japan, bless them. It certainly cuts my inconsequential worries down to size.

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