I’d just gotten baby down for his morning nap when there was a knock on the door. And there was our next door neighbour, Bruce, with a big grin and a warm plate of fragrant, freshly baked cinnamon scones. “Just wanted to say Happy Remembrance Day…. if you can say that?” he grinned. I laughed. “You sure can!”
For readers from the USA, Remembrance Day is a Canadian holiday similar to Veterans Day- when we remember the thousands of Canadians who have died fighting for our country.
They gave their lives so that future generations would be able to enjoy the freedom to live in peace, an extreme gesture of taking care of their neighbours. So in my opinion, Bruce picked a perfect way to honour their memory.
It offers me the perspective I want to keep as we get ready for the earthquake.
Whenever we look to the future, we’re really making a choice about how we see the world. And the way we choose to see a situation can determine its reality.
Yes, living on the beautiful West Coast means accepting a 30% chance of facing a major earthquake. It’s only realistic to prepare for a period of time when all our normal resources crumble away, where people will be injured, food and water scarce.
Some people choose to believe that in scarcity, civil disorder and violence are inevitable. They urge you to plan ahead to get out before it gets bad: prepare “bug-out bags” and map your escape route from the city; and even to prepare a secure location out in a rural area where you can hunker down, hide, and prepare to protect yourself from hungry people who want to share your supplies.
But I will choose to believe that despite the fear, suffering and hardship facing us in a disaster situation, we can count on our neighbours to help us. So we can look at our own resources only as part of all the other resources our neighborhood has– not just water, tools and food, but skills, strength and kindness. That’s what will keep us going.
So even as we take practical steps to get ready for the worst, I’ll remember that our most valuable resource will be the essential goodness in people — that we’ll share what we have and help each other (as Kelly said on this blog’s first day). When I think of it that way, it all seems less overwhelming.
The best preparation may be preparing my frame of mind, to hold onto that bigger picture: that our family is part of a larger community, and we will all get through it together.
No, a plate of scones won’t stop the earth’s plates from moving. But it can feed trust in each other, strengthen the faith we can bring to all the major challenges in our lives- that we don’t face them alone.