Friday, March 11, 2011

How small we really are...

Today I went into my office. It was early. Glenn and I had been watching the morning news. The tsunami in Japan was heading to our coast. I had gone to sleep with visions of the wall of water rushing madly over homes, picking them up like toys, hurling them over farmland and airports, power plants and cars with people fleeing the disaster.

As I listened to the broadcasters warning of waves of 3 feet in our area, I looked at Glenn and said, this is a non event. Look at all those reporters looking for something to happen. The National Park person planting signs at Aquatic Park warning of Bio Hazards on the beach (because we don't have tsunami signs), all seemed like over kill. How much can what happened off the coast of Japan really affect us. If anything I thought, there would be a rise of 3 feet at low tide that would not be noticeable. I was wrong.

I looked out my window at the office I have off Richardson Bay and noticed the birds. The flock sitting quietly on top of the water, as the water moved at a quick pace out toward the Golden Gate. They were virtually flying, on the water, like a tide on over drive headed out...leaving the muddy shores exposed more and more with each passing minute. I put my head down and started working and when I looked up a few minutes later, the water was lapping back in. Aha, I thought that is it. That is interesting, but not that impressive.

A while later I looked out the windows and noticed the birds flying across the water again. The shoreline becoming more exposed, so I ran to get a witness. We looked out the window and he was impressed, but went back to his office. I kept watching and then, I saw it. The wave was breaking on the far end of Strawberry. It traversed the bay in a solid line of wave... behind it churning waters, ahead of it peaceful and tranquil. I ran and got my colleague and we headed out to the deck. I tried to take a great video, documenting the scene. Other people joined us on the deck and we all looked in amazement at the power behind that wave that carried it 7000 miles. Some of the birds seemed to enjoy the ride, others were decidedly disturbed. I kept filming, sure I got something on that little camera.

The water came rolling in and in the course of 10 minutes there was a tide that normally would take 12 hours to develop. From mud that seemed to span the entire Richardson Bay to water reaching within a couple of feet of the shore. I thought, what would this have been like is there had been a high tide.

I went back into the office and looked at my video. Oh well, I tried. I did take a couple of still shots that tell some of the story. The tsunami would continue over the course of the next couple of hours. Water leaving and then coming back.

Later in the day another colleague from a higher vantage point filmed this....

The whole thing, from what I saw last night, to the little tsunami we had in Richardson Bay, I felt small in the face of the power of nature. In the end, we are so connected to each other by our humanness. On the end, we need to recognize that. What happens 7000 miles away is still important because we all are connected.

If today did anything, it reaffirmed, this is a small small powerful world.