Hello my lovelies!
It’s hard to believe how much has been packed into the last week. We now have a terrifying US president, and here in a large chunk of New Zealand we have had a very difficult 36 hours. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s still spring.
As many of you will have read or experienced, a very large quake hit NZ in the middle of Sunday night our time. There have been around 900 aftershocks in the 36 hours since. That is not a typo. It was a terrifying reminder to the citizens of Christchurch which was surprised by very destructive quakes in recent years and are still trying to rebuild their city. And for Kaikoura, a small tourist town it appears to mean an extended period of isolation after severe damage to roads, rail lines and basic services. In Wellington we have damage to buildings in our CBD, residents were evacuated from tsunami-risk zones who thankfully were able to return with no damage, and some loss of power. Oh yeah, and now we have gale-force winds, heavy rain and serious flooding..
This brief rundown of physical circumstance does not portray how stressful a large earthquake and aftershocks are. Wellington has major fault-lines running under it and part of living here is knowing that one day the whole place might get royally fucked up. But there is a huge difference between knowing it in the background and having bottled water gathering dust in a cupboard, and crouching in your bedroom doorway in the dark wondering if you will need to abandon your home. While everything around you is shaking and rumbling. I ‘slept’ in my clothes with a backpack and shoes by the door.
Every aftershock you feel makes you panic that it’s the ‘big one’. You get pumped full of adrenaline. Then it drains away you feel tired and sad. I struggled to be motivated to do anything yesterday because a tiny voice in my head would say things like ‘why are you making that brownie cake? what if there’s a quake and you have to evacuate before it’s baked?’ I think it’s pretty obvious why I was making a brownie cake to everyone except my hind-brain.. The stress and uncertainty can be very debilitating. Brownie cake helps. So do sprinkles.
I’ts been a tough couple of days for me and for a lot of others have too. Times of shared adversity tend to bring out the best in Kiwis, and being kind and patient with each other is really important right now. Aftershocks seem to be calming down. Things will gradually return to normal, though faster for some than others. If it ever stops bloody raining. Everyone has the right to be upset and stressed and will deal with it in different ways. We need to support each other and keep doing so after life resumes it’s normal pace.
There are a lot of people both close to home and abroad who will be having a hard time now and in the coming months and years. Look after each other. Include each other. Draw strength from each other. Be kind to each other.
Hug someone. Create something. Make a cup of tea.