This morning, the day after the Christchurch earthquake, I got out of bed as normal. I prepared breakfast and lunches for four children as normal. I got them all ready, bags packed, out the door and on their way to school and kindy as normal. I drove to town and bought $400.00 worth of school uniforms for the twins, grabbed some summer bargains from Pumpkin Patch using a gift card, and enjoyed a steaming flat white from Esquires as normal. Later on I walked my dog on my favourite country roads in the pure Inglewood sunshine, waving to a plethora of burnished monarchs as we went. As normal. Everything went on as normal in Taranaki today.
Except it wasn't quite as normal as I would have liked. While driving in my car I listened to More FM's special reports instead of non-stop music. On my walk I had my music on louder than I normally would, trying to clear my head of the thoughts that kept going around and around after a sleepless night. And at Esquire's there wasn't so much of the the usual chatter of friendly customers greeting each other. Instead, we were all glued to the Breakfast Program playing on the flat screen tv on the wall. We saw pictures of a woman being rescued from the PGC building, lines of cars at petrol stations, debris and rubble everywhere, and most captivating, the scrolling messages below, telling us of the numbers dead, the numbers still trapped, the numbers who had to have limbs amputated to be freed from the rubble. It was sobering. And of course there were the repeated images of the crumbled Cathedral, a symbolic reminder of a city in ruin, a people bereft of hope.
So while there is nothing we can do from here and while we must carry on with our lives as normal, Christchurch needs to know we are with them. Because with them, we hope. We pray. We rejoice. We wail.