The loss of the landmark ANZ bank chambers at the High Street & Lichfield intersection is but one of the dozens (which will be hundreds, once demolitions have been completed) of the heritage buildings in Christchurch that collapsed in the quakes and are gone forever. But, in the end, they are just buildings.
It's hard to believe that I have not written anything here for two months- wow! Doesn't time fly when you are having fun - or contending with earthquakes. For those readers (yes- even without new content, people have still been visiting these pages) who do not live in this neck of the woods, we had yet another major earthquake, here in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22nd. And there have been a whole bunch of the inevitable after-shocks.
This time, there was wide-spread destruction and many people died. The city is in ruins, and is still in lock-down, and this will continue for some months yet. Thousands of people lost homes, many others lost work-places and jobs, and everyone has been impacted one way or another. But the State of Emergency has finally been lifted.
So as you can imagine, blogging goes out the window, and off the list of priorities. Things will never be as they were, there is still no real scope for what 'normal'may mean. But we are all slowly picking up the pieces. Well, the ones that aren't broken...
And in amongst it all, there is a re-appraisal by many folks as to what is important - attachment to material possessions seems to decrease, and even a shattered house can be walked away from, when people remind themselves that they and their family members are alive and well. In addition there are new connections made, with others who have had similar experiences. It's been a time of loss - but it's also a time of moving forward, and of new beginnings, even though many folks don't know what is yet ahead, or what those beginnings may look like.
It reminds me of the importance of being aware of our own strengths. That although we have all been through an incredibly challenging two months, here we all are, this far down the track. And this has taken resilience, even courage for many people. It's easy to sometimes forget about personal strength, when we are continually reminded by the media of what has gone wrong, and when we see how damaged the city is.
People have not always known what to do - there have been no rule books for negotiating this chaotic period we have been going through. And yet negotiate it thus far we have. It's vital at times like this, that when people do feel over-whelmed, to remind themselves of how they have got through other hard times in their lives. To focus less on the hard times that have been encountered, and more on our individual strengths. To know who are the people to choose to be around, when we need to feel more on top of things. And whilst the ''earthquake conversations'' will continue out of necessity for many months to come (sharing our experiences is part of the moving forward process, after all), we need to recognise our own tolerance for these, and know the times when we also need to talk about other things.
As I've said, you will begin to know by now what works for you - keep doing it.
In the meantime, jump right over here to read about your local earthquake heroes...
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."