© 2014 Lynsey

Standing on shaky ground

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like being in an earthquake, even when you’ve experienced a number of them. We’ve had a few quakes recently. Each quake is so very different. The fear they produce feels quite primitive – it’s one of the old, deep body fears. I find that if I’ve felt a bigger quake than usual, for the next few days I’m extra sensitive to the sound of a truck or a bus rumbling past.

Earthquake! Duck! Cover!

It takes almost nothing to be back in that basic fight or flight response. Earthquakes are scary because of the unknown. They’re the kind of unspeakable terror that stalks our nightmares. There’s no way of knowing the scale of the quake until it’s over, and that during the quake itself the intensity can rise and fall. Once the event has passed there is always the thought that “was that *it* or was that just the teaser before the big one?”.

Wellington experienced a major (7.1 magnitude) earthquake in 1848. There was a loss of lives. A Mr Lovell and his two children were buried by a collapsing wall. By comparison, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, in which 185 lives were lost, was 6.3 magnitude.

The legendary big one.

Earthquakes are so common here that there would be very few people who’ve lived here for any time who don’t have their own earthquake story or two to share. Despite the fear, it’s always kind of fun to hear people’s stories. They’re often funny, but they’re always edgy because you know, in the shadows just beyond the flickering camp fire, the terrors that walk in the night are there.


28. Every day you will be tested.
37. Every day fight for what’s worth fighting for. Pick your battles.
38. Every day be brave and give things a go. Use fear to trigger you into action.

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