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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Global Natural disasters, we are all connected.

After the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Katrina’s hurricane, Haiti earthquake, Chile, mudslides and floods all over, we are becoming familiar with natural disasters.  As a child I experienced a cyclone. Cyclones are also referred to as hurricanes or typhoons.We lived high on the island; I could see the ocean agitation. First, I was not scared. I was curious and happy that I missed school due to a high risk of natural disaster!

I remember how the sky slowing changed, from cream to grey, to dark blue, the rain, the wind and the silence in the noise.  The rain and the wind were intense.  My brother and I could tell from our dad’s face this was serious.  Since the night before, our dog was in the house.We knew something might happen because our parents were against having the dog inside. We all took refuge far away from windows, in hallway and bathroom. It was like camping in the house. We had books, snacks, pillows, and blankets. The noise was scary but somewhat relaxing in the comfort of our new shelter. After a while, I wanted to look by the windows.  I took a long pick far away from the window. It was hypnotic. The chaos seemed orchestrated by the heavy rain, wind and swirling. I was scared that we will drown or our house will fly in the cyclone's eye. In spite of the noise and worries, I slept. It is the beauty of being a child. I do not even know if my parents slept that night.

In the morning, it was a quiet regular day. We were blessed, healthy and alive.The sky was blue; the sun was shinning like nothing happen. We had to stay in the house, while our parents went outside to clean up for few hours. In the afternoon we were allowed to go out with them. But we were not allowed to touch anything or eat anything without asking. And while driving, I realized that we survived a natural disaster, the roads were sectioned with fallen trees, broken houses, debris and parts of stuff. We did multiple stops to clear the road. It was a complete disorder.

After few days we went back to school. And after a week we went back to the beach. I never looked at the Ocean the same way. It could be so smooth, warm, relaxing, and so chaotic. After that episode, natural disasters did indicate life and death. In the broken and disorder, flowers and plants were growing, babies being born, life taking his course like nothing happen with sequels and scars.

 Now as a parent, it is my duty to provide shelter and peace of mind. Nowadays children are more connected to the outside world. With the images from Katrina, Haiti, and Chile, they grow fears that we have to appease somehow. And like for fire emergency plans, we are supposed to have few natural disasters plans. Global natural disasters remind us that we are all connected that we wanted it or not! It is one Earth, different natural disasters, same fears, same tears and same blood.

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