Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did the Snowdrops Tremble?

I woke up late this morning and stayed under the covers, thinking for a great while about what I wanted to write about. I had this sweet little image of snowdrops that I took yesterday and wanted to post, but I had no words. My thoughts were then interrupted by a gentle shake. Then about three seconds of low rumble, and then another quick shake. No one had a hand on my shoulder trying to rouse me out of sleep.... my house was shaking.

I live in an area that is very earthquake prone. I have experienced 5 or 6 of them since moving here ten years ago...each one very different. I remember way back when I started blogging, I wrote a post about how much I loved little earthquakes. Just the little ones, because they were kind of exciting. My feelings have changed over the last few years. We islanders know that we live on a massive fault line...and that we are overdue for a big one. And I mean Big... a 9 or so on the richter scale. And while I know that this could happen anytime between now and the next 200 years, when I hear a low sound or feel any kind of vibration, my body freezes, and my heart starts to race.

I absolutely love living here. I couldn't imagine leaving. But I hate living in fear over this pending doom. It's not a question of if it will happen, but when. And considering I want to grow old here, chances are, I will probably experience one major shaker in my lifetime.

But you know, despite the fear, I have always wanted to experience the feel of an earthquake under my bare feet. I wish I could know when the next one is about to happen so I can go outside and stand in a field and feel the earth literally move under my feet. What would that feel like? Would the grass roll under my arches like the thumbs of a masseuse? Or would it be more of a tremble? Better yet, what would it feel like to lie down on my back? Would I be calm enough to do this? Probably not. I figure, a field would be an ideal place to be though. No trees or buildings to fall on you, and as long as the earth doesn't crack open and create a canyon right under you, what could go wrong?

If only I was psychic and could predict the timing of these things. For now, I will take the little 3.4 quake we just had, and be grateful it was so small. It was just the thing to get my lazy butt out of bed this morning.


  1. What a beautiful shot of snowdrops, I wish we had them here.

    My husband is from California so he experienced them growing up there but we were surprised when one occurred here last year on the east coast. They can be interesting for sure. I love the idea of standing outside and feeling the earth move under your feet.

  2. Beautiful photo. So sweet and fragile. Love the greys surrounding the pure white. When we lived in Japan, we often experienced earthquakes at night when we were in bed. The buildings there are made to sway gently with the rocking of the earth. It was a very gentle sway that didn't alarm us but was fascinating to note. I'm glad we weren't in Tokyo but in a town north of that giant city. I can't imagine feeling good about an earthquake in a high rise.

  3. i don't think i want to experience an earthquake. i'm getting to be such a wimp lately.

    for some reason around here in the summer time....you can see many people watching for the tornado that has been spotted in the next county over.....

    i remember my dad doing this when we were little. he doesn't do it anymore. i think he got wimpy in his old age, too.

    i love your photo. something besides snow is so refreshing.

  4. I too live in an earthquake zone. I have felt 2 that were 5.0...I didn't like it one bit. We are supposed to get hit with "the big one" as well...what's up with that? Anyway, I don't want to feel the big one!

  5. oh my. that would certainly wake you up! i live in a place that is not earthquake prone, but last year we had a small one, i was running outside at the time and didn't feel it. Everyone else was talking about it and I felt like I had missed something important.
    i love your snowdrops!

  6. I had just moved to Los Angeles when we had the terrible Northridge quake and it was terrifying - and thank goodness we were ok! But I do know what you mean because we had strong after shocks for over 2 weeks. At first your blood would run cold at the deep rumble that announces a quake and the panic hit but after a while I was able to stand outside myself, not panic and just watch.

    I remember a particularly 'rolling' kind of earthquake that occurred while I was at work and I just watched the glass in a plate glass window undulating as if it was the waves gently lapping at the shore...amazing!

  7. Your photo is beautiful as always Jaime ~ but your story ~ oh so scary!!! No earthquakes to worry about in Saskatchewan. Just tornadoes. I hope I never see one!!!

    I'm glad our earthquake was just a little one!
    xo Catherine

  8. I'm not the earthquake kind of girl, but I love the post and photo! You're very talented.

  9. You seemed so normal, I had no idea that pure crazytown lurked beneath the surface! ;-) Lie in a field during an earthquake? And you mention the earth opening up in such a nonchalant way..haha..it could swallow you up, man! Whole!

    I'm not sure I'd want to experience any kind of quake. I find it a little scary. But I do love the photo, I'm envious that you have things blooming to life already. We are covered in snow. xox

  10. Earthquakes can be so frightening, yet so interesting at the same time. Where I live we have some small earthquakes about the size of the one that you had, but we are not on a major fault line. A field would be a great place to be able to feel one though :) You are so calm about it. I know I would be one of those who panics and flees the moment I felt the field shake! hee hee

  11. beautiful shot and i'm so glad it was just the tremble.

    i've experienced one tremor once and it was enough. it was the weirdest feeling of just being dizzy.

  12. Snowdrops! I am so envious. We won't have them here for quite some time, but I can enjoy them through your beautiful photo to tide me over until they finally arrive here.

    I've only experienced one earthquake in my life. It was here in Maine, where we almost never get them, so it was very memorable. I was about nine years old, and my family was sitting together at a lunch counter--something we almost never did. I remember the plates and silverware shaking on the shelves behind the counter, and the whole room seemed to rumble like a giant truck was driving by. Everyone in the room froze when it happened. I have to admit, I kind of loved it, so I can understand how you feel about the little tremblers. A big one--now that would just scare the living daylights out of me!

    Thanks for stopping over for a visit this morning. I love you comments on my piece about the little girl in her bed. I've been writing more about her since then, and I am in love with her, her story, her life. Your words encourage me to continue.

    Have a beautiful weekend, my friend! xo Gigi

  13. Can't imagine what it might be like to be living on a fault-line..never quite knowing when the earth might literally fall away beneath you. But - as you said here so beautifully - t'would be great to 'feel' that falling off and away..that little rumble beneath bare feet.
    Love it!

  14. Lovely photo. Quaint little flowers!
    Last year (almost to the day of yours) Feb. 10, 2010 I experienced my first earthquake. It woke me from a sound sleep early in the morning. We have no major fault line and don't experience earthquakes so it was quite exciting. It was also only a 4.0 and many, many miles away.

  15. I did not feel it!

    I felt an earthquake once, in Alaska. (We were sleeping in a tent at the time and the ground seemed to move a little bit.) It wasn't huge, and we were far from the epicenter, but I don't know if I want to feel another one.

  16. Thank goodness we rarely have earthquakes but we had a large one (for us) this past summer. It was so scary!! I can't imagine living in an area where you have them frequently.

    These snowdrops are oh so lovely! xo

  17. You know what? Not only can you feel the Earth move under your bare feet, you can watch the buildings move against the blue, blue sky. It's disconcerting, but also incredible. Awesome in the truest sense of the word. The power of it makes you go silent. I was nine, it was New Year's Day 1980. We were in an island in the middle of the north Atlantic Ocean, Tecera. The earthquake registered 8.2 at its epicenter. It is the kind of thing you don't forget. Ever.