Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A year on but still in it

A sand sculpture we made on 18 Feb
2011, when we had a different 2011
planned to the one that it became
on Feb 22 2011 at 12:51
It is hard to believe it is twelve months since the fatal quake hit Christchurch. The big quakes of September, June and December were nothing like February.
Its ramifications haven't gone away. We may have got through the first lot of temporary measures but for things like Lucy's school displaced from the city centre, there are the ongoing decisions of what the future might look like. So many times today, I realised things were different whether it was what I do with my day or driving down a road, now changed daily with traffic cones so one way is always two lanes, or driving past buildings that are gone. All of these little things I don't notice anymore but they are all due to February 22 2011.
The weather this afternoon was eerily like last year. When I think of the big September quake, I think of a loud mixture of noise that reminds me of Dr Who's TARDIS on the move. When I think of February I think of incessantly sounding alarms and that night of the silence between aftershocks - no power, no buses and little traffic on the road and the numbness of knowing people were dead.
I am still buoyed by the awesomeness people showed in those early days. The vast majority helped each other, whether we knew each other or not. I will never forget that. It took away my often cynical view of our city - when we needed each other, we really stepped up in a multitude of small ways.
I briefly saw a snippet of one of the memorial services on the television this morning and the sign guy was signing and it made me smile, how he became an instant hit. Flowers in the traffic cones - a little idea that spread city wide - have made me smile all day.
It is hard to know whether good or bad decisions are being made here about demolitions or cordons or city planning but it is a city where we all have to live intentionally. Small businesses have been hit so hard in the last year and without support, could easily disappear. Many other organisations and schools that have suffered are also working hard to keep moving forward. It really is a place that what we individuals choose, does make a difference to what will be here in the future. I think that is why I liked the flowers in the cones, in many small ways, we can decide what the city will look like.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.