Oh it’s good to be home. I loved D.C. and hope to return. I enjoyed my fancy hotel with mosaic bathrooms. But it is, as everyone knows, good to be home.
- I can drink my tea from large mugs, rather than lovely, but picayune, teacups
- The milk in my refrigerator is 1%, not 2%, not whole milk, not cream, and certainly not skim. These things matter.
- I had two new episodes of Big Love on my DVR. And one of Hellcats. We all need to balance art with amusement.
- I can check things off my to-do list. Which this week will include taxes, or at least understanding the status of the 18,000 necessary pieces of paper, executing a will, since my intestate status is up there on the list of dumbest things in my life, and finalizing the florist for my brother’s wedding. That last is more treat than task.
- It turns out that I live in one of the U.S. regions highest-ranked for well-being. California 14, they call it. Go look at the map, it’s very interesting.
- And, although I know you don’t need reminding, many are homeless in Japan today. I was in California for the Loma Prieta earthquake. Although I sat safe in a car on my little suburban street, up the road a freeway fell. Loma Prieta shook for 15 seconds. The one in Japan on Thursday, somewhere between 2 to 4 minutes. Imagine 2 to 4 minutes.
The thing is, natural disasters are just that. Natural. Not an invasion by aliens resembling fierce crickets, farming us as babyfood. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, they happen. I think any concept of home has to include the acceptance that, while we humans have exempted ourselves from much natural danger, the world is still out there. These are tragedies for individuals, but regular stories of our species. Doesn’t make it any easier for those suffering, but maybe helps the rest of us derive meaning.
Home, in earthquake zones, is where you keep your bottled water, your mylar blankets, your extra batteries, candles, and matches. The decorative pond in my backyard can also serve as a source of drinking water, if needed. I’m prepared to share with my neighbors. Home also means neighbors. Because humans are not only talented builders of shelter but deeply social creatures who ought to take care of each other.
It’s good to be back. Tea mugs, extra water, and all. To the people of Japan, I am deeply sorry for your losses. There you go. I just convinced myself to donate to relief efforts.
Have a wonderful weekend, with maybe a slightly heightened awareness of home.