This week we’ve been reminded again that nature rules, or as Jim Hopkins said:
No power on earth can regulate the power of earth. The planet wins. It always does. And has for 4 billion years.
The ground beneath us quaked and the air above us was full of ash.
Australia to the west or the islands to the north come most readily to mind when we talk of neighbours. But the eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle reminded us that over the fence and across the sea to the east is South America and what happens there can affect us here.
And when things happen we like to do something about it. To quote Hopkins again:
Fatalism does not sit well with Kiwis. We’re a DIY, GSI (Get Stuck In) bunch, wedded to the optimistic idea that there’s nothing a bit of No. 8 wire can’t fix or recreate.
Much as we’d like to we can’t stop the earth shaking nor can we stop the volcano spewing.
But bad as this week has been for so many, there have also been many reminders that nature’s worst encourages people’s best:
“Stuff happens. We’ve just got to deal with it.” And we do. And we will. Because we can. That much we do control. The best time to laugh is when you want to cry.
The planet always wins but it doesn’t always beat us. People whose homes are in ruins, who are living without power, running water, functioning sewers or dealing with the frustrations of cancelled flights have shown that they can not only bear the unbearable they can keep on doing it.
They couldn’t control what happened but they can and do control how they react.
This week there have been understandable tears and tantrums. But even when people have had more than enough they have also been strong, resilient, selfless, determined and shown that while the planet won they haven’t been beaten.