This afternoon Christchurch was rocked by 5.5 and 6.0 magnitude earthquakes.
The biggest quake I felt on Te Araroa was when I was cooking dinner, sheltered under the entrance-way of the public toilet at Lake Coleridge, out of the rain. Wobble, wobble…
Obviously, today I was much closer to the epicentre. They were sudden, violent and lingering shakes. Thankfully, being on the western side of the city the house I am staying in suffered no damage. Power stayed on, no liquefaction, no breakages.
It disrupts your day. The work I had hoped to complete grinds to a halt as internet connections drop and cellphones don’t work. Your distracted mind wanders to friends in other parts of town and wonder how they have fared. You imagine the central city covered in dust again as fragile buildings succumb to the further shakes. Your heart goes out to the demolition crews who would have been amongst the barrage…
It’s a similar feeling to when I was miles away from home in February: helpless.
Why do I stay? Because it’s home.
I’m fortunate that I haven’t lost a home or lost loved ones or had to shovel silt. I’ve started to work remotely – not dependent on my location – so I could easily move my stuff to another part of the country. Yet I have friends here. I have (ageing) family here. I ‘know’ the city – I love being able to drive around, confident in my route.
The vision I have in my mind is a future Christchurch vibrant with creative energy, a technological gem, a melting pot of learning and playing and arts and family and nature. A city positioned as a must-visit destination for every traveller. A city spotlighted for its ‘can do’ (and ‘did!’) attitude. A city leading the world in urban design and people-friendly living.
I just hope these continuing earthquakes don’t scare off the people who can help make this happen…
It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Do you ignore the nay-sayers, stay, stand your ground, make it work? Or do you move to…? Who knows where? Christchurch is lucky to have people with gumption like you, who WILL stay, and make it an even better place to live.
Thanks Jo. I’m not saying I’ll never move away – that’s a decision we all make on a daily basis, and who knows what else Mother Nature might have in store for us… but in the meantime, the sun still shines and the birds still sing. 🙂