Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Unprecedented Events – Part 2

Click here for Part One.


We believe that animals are quite intuitive to the goings-on in the world. If only we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear what they have to say.

48 hours later – Tuesday, August 23, 2011:

I was at work when the earthquake hit.  My first.  Ever.

I was on the phone when the woman on the other end started screaming that her building was shaking.  As soon as she said that, the floor underneath my own feet shook.  It started out slowly but gained in strength until I actually felt as if the building was rolling on a wave. 

A wave on Terra Firma!


I was caught in an earthquake!

Later I would find out that the East Coast suffered a 5.8 earthquake, originating from Mineral, Virginia.  But at the moment, I was living through my first earthquake and my first thought was to call Zen Master and Zen Mum.

And the phone just rang and rang.

Strangely enough, although the cell phones weren’t working, I finally got through to them by land-line. 

Zen Master had been in the kitchen, reading his Chinese newspaper.  Zen Mum was in the living room, watching TV.  When the earthquake struck, the house trembled.  Thinking that a neighbor was getting carried away with renovations, Zen Master didn’t pay it any mind until things started falling off the table.

And that was when he jumped up and raced to the living room to get Zen Mum. 

However, she didn’t move from the sofa. 

“What was that?”  she asked as she watched Zen Master race into the room. 

“Earthquake!  Earthquake!”  He grabbed her by the hand and dragged her to her feet.  “We got to go!”

And they stumbled out into the street, joining neighbors who had reacted faster and were already outside.

I thank God that they were all right.

I, on the other hand, wasn’t thinking to get out of my building. 

I actually stayed.

I don’t know why I did that.  Maybe because I was in denial, because there wasn’t supposed to be earthquakes here.  I live in Maryland, for goodness sake!

Maybe it was because I believed that I was not in harm’s way.

Maybe it was because it couldn’t possibly happen to me.

When all was said and done, I did what any sane person who survived her first earthquake would do.

I went to Happy Hour and devoured an order of Truffle French Fries.

Later that same evening, finally safe and sound at home with Zen Master and Zen Mum, I stood by my bedroom window and finally heard them.

The crickets were chirping loudly. 

The evening sounds of their song, Nature’s night music had returned.

Where had they been?


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