12.51 pm ~
that dreadful moment, 4 years ago, today, that ripped apart what was left of our quaint, quiet world.
I am remembering it.
My heart doesn’t want to anymore, but my brain and my body insist. 12.51, and all the other moments, beginning Sept 4, 2010, are imprinted on my being ~ indelibly. They have leached to my very core. Part of who I am and what I will be, forever.
Four years on and I still stiffen at any unexpected movement in the house, even if it’s only the wind, or a shake caused by a truck rumbling on the road. I startle easily. And, then, there are those moments that come, out of the blue, and screech through my head for an intense few seconds, saying, ” Is it going to happen again, NOW? Is it, is it? What will I do? What will I do? Will I make it? How will I hold on? Can I hold on? ” I am standing again in the bathroom doorway, holding on to frame and fear. Indescribable fear.
Then it’s over. I survive, and move on. Slowly. On shaky legs.
I set the table, in some trepidation, with my great-grandmother’s china. (Please no shakes, please no shakes.) I remind myself it has survived more than a 100 years. It is chipped, cracked and crazed, but its beauty and value remains.
A friend brings apples.
She has gathered them from an abandoned, earthquake-damaged property in her neighborhood. She calls them gravestone apples. I like that. They are, in a way. The property on which they grow is like a forlorn graveyard.
I eat the apples. I bake them. They are given new life, new form.
I bake bread, to share.
I want to feast on life, not fear.
Join me. Take a slice,
a spoon, a fork, “dig in”.
Something to ponder as you digest :
The china used in this post is a metaphor for continuity. The Flow Blue semi porcelain plates which belonged to my maternal great-grandmother were produced about 1912. The pattern is Vermont. They were made in England by Burgess and Leigh. The small blue plates, which I purchased just prior to the earthquakes, are also Burgess and Leigh. They are made in the same way and in the same factory as the Vermont china was all those years ago. One pattern is Felicity, the other is Chintz. Felicity is a small, delicate flower pattern reminiscent of elder flowers in a gentle pale blue originating from the 1930s. Burgess Chintz is a delicate blue chintz pattern dating from the early 1900s, derived from the wild geranium. How any of this china survived the shaking, I will never know.