I actually wanted to write something commemorating Dickens’ 200th birthday (my blog is named after the guy, after all), but something happened that pushed all thoughts of him out of my mind.
Last February 6, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 shook my little corner of the world. A couple of hours before the earthquake, I fell asleep while reading Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. The book is about a missionary who goes with his family to the Belgian Congo, and the culture of the Congolese—particularly the way they send messages from village to village using drums—is detailed in the book.
When I woke up, my bed and bookshelf were shaking, and, for five unbelievably long seconds, I thought I was dreaming about drums in the Congo. After my brain processed that, yes, our entire house was really shaking, I ran out of the house as quickly as I could. I hugged myself by our gate, wishing the earthquake would stop soon.
It was terrifying, and we are still feeling the aftershocks of the earthquake. In fact, while typing this post, another aftershock shook the sofa I’m sitting on.
I haven’t slept very well since the earthquake, because I keep waking up every thirty minutes or so. I can never be sure if I wake up because the earth is really shaking again, or if it’s just my imagination.
I know a lot of people went through worse things than I did. Some people even died because of the landslides caused by the earthquake, and a lot of people’s properties were damaged. I didn’t lose anyone or anything, and that really put how lucky I was into perspective. If fate had decided otherwise, I could have easily been in those other peoples’ shoes.
So, I’m posting this here, just in case I forget in the future and wonder why I didn’t say anything about Dickens’ 200th birthday (which I think is a completely important event). I didn’t post anything, because I got distracted by the shaking of the earth.