Thursday, September 19, 2013

Facing Storms


On September 19, 1985, an 8.1 earthquake struck Mexico City and the State of Mexico.


It was around 7am.  It killed between 10,000 and 40,000 people . 412 buildings collapsed, including the Medical Center, the biggest hospital in the city.


The dragon cave is located on a rocky area, where usually earthquakes are barely perceived. Yet, we felt it really hard. The core of Mexico City is built over what used to be the lake of Great Tenochtitlan, so any earthquake is felt with great intensity.


It was a terrible tragedy. However on that time, Mexicans brought out the best we have in ourselves. People united to help each other and get through this, working shoulder by shoulder.


Now it is not an earthquake on one main city, but several storms hitting the east and west coast, more coming from the south and one entering the north. Many states have been declared as Disaster Zones. There are floods everywhere, from coast to coast and what's in between.

People trapped in communities without any kind of communications because the roads are either flooded, blocked or damaged. Crops, homes, sometimes entire villages gone by overflowing rivers.


We have also suffered several floods in the city. The neighborhood where the dragon cave is located got 3 foot of water once when the nearby river overflowed due to rain. That was a couple years ago but I know what it feels to see the level of the water increasing fast. You look around helplessly as you wonder how can you save what cost you so much effort to get. On that time, Mother Dragon's greatest concern (and mine) was to save the bookshelves, the heritage of Father Dragon "The Great".  We had casualties, but thanks to some sacks of earth it was not as much as those of my neighbors. There were some who got the entire first floor flooded.

Many lost material things, some have lost their lives. But talking about those who have lost material things, I think our attitude is somehow similar. No matter how much you lose. It cost you and it hurts to see your effort lost overnight. One feels sad, disappointed, angry and frustrated. The "Why God, why me?" is inevitable and also quite common.

I watch the news because I have family all over the country. Many in both the west and east coasts. I also watch them because Mexicans stand together when our country is in need. I was taking note how could I help. And here I saw a reporter in a town in Zacatecas. He was talking to a very old man, a farmer probably in his 70's.

"The rain has ruined the whole crop. Several hectares of corn," the reporter was saying. "All lost?"

The old man nodded. "All lost. But I am thankful to God, you see? Because a year ago, the land was dry, it was dying of thirst. It needed water. It  needed to drink to recover. Yes, the flood ruined the crops and washed away many houses, but the land was dying of thirst."

"Where do you live?" the reporter asked.

"Lived. I used to live over there. That's where my house was." The old man pointed to an empty muddy spot on the mountain slope. "There's nothing left. But I'm still thankful to God 'cause the earth got the water it was dying for. I lost everything, but it doesn't matter. We'll work hard and we'll recover from this. The land has the water it needed now. It will get better. That's the important thing. Thank God for that."

I don't know what you think about this. Each of you will learn and understand whatever your heart makes out of the old man's statement. Yet, for Mother Dragon and for me, this old farmer from a distant (and now totally destroyed) village in the countryside taught us one of the greatest lessons of life.

We tend to think too much on ourselves and too little on the land that nurture us. And even the worst of tragedies can't take everything from you. The most important and most valuable thing is in your heart and your mind. No flood, earthquake, or alike can touch it... unless you allow it.

For those who wonder, Father Dragon is alright and the Dragon Cave is still standing and in no risk at the moment. Power and internet connection however, are failing sometimes if the storm is too big. Prayers for Mexico and its people will be most appreciated. Dragon Hugs!


37 comments:

  1. For me, that farmer's statement epitomised wisdom. And acceptance. Both no doubt garnered slowly through many painful experiences. I suspect that many would consider him an 'unsophisticate man' but his philosophy seems superior to much that is more widely accepted. Thank you.
    And my very best wishes for you, and for all of Mexico.

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    1. Thank you very much. Yes, that man spoke century distilled wisdom. :)

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  2. He understood the greater need.
    Prayers for you and your country. That's a lot to handle with so many storms coming from so many directions.

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    1. The bigger ones somehow takes importance off the smaller ones, you know what I mean? :)

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  3. What a wonderful philosophy expressed by the old man. The land is so important. The aboriginals in Australia have a similar attitude and believe nobody owns the land but we are here to caretake it only.

    All the best to Mexico and Mexicans. Hope things improve. So glad the dragon cave is doing OK.

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    1. Thanks again for asking, Jo. You're a good friend. :)

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  4. I've seen news coverage of the storms there and it's so heartbreaking. I'm glad you and the cave are safe and I hope that continues. Prayers and hugs for everyone there!
    It's impossible not to admire this farmer. I don't know if I could have that kind of strength and perspective if something like this happened to me. Inspiring to read his words!

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    1. It is indeed very difficult to be in that place and not just understand it but feel it from the depth of the heart. I know that. We just can do our best. Hugs!

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  5. Prayers for Mexico and Father Dragon are winging their way towards you. Glad that the dragon cave is okay. Hugs to you Al.

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    1. Hugs back at you, Rachna. Thanks a lot!

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  6. I try to find the positive in things. Sounds like that farmer is the same way. But I'm not sure I could have his attitude if I lost so much.

    Stay safe, Al. I hope you and your neighbors get some relief soon.

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    1. Let's grasp the positive things with all strength, even if they are few. Thanks, Melissa!

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  7. Colorado has had similar tragic storms. People have lost land, homes, and lives. At the beginning of the summer, the state was on fire-- huge destructive fire the result of droughts. It's a tragic swing of extremes and perhaps, as you noted, a sign that we are not treating earth very well. Hugs-- glad you are safe.

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    1. Too bad the earth is receiving a lot of harm and the warnings it gives us don't seem enough for people to change in a significant manner. Spam Hugs back at you!

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  8. Having noted the Weather Channel's coverage of the storms hitting Mexico, I've been wondering how you and the cave fared. And knowing how such storms wipe out communications, it was with relief that I read your post and know you are safe. Having personally seen the heartbreaking destruction floods can do, know that I and many of your friends are praying for you and your country.

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    1. I really appreciate it, Catherine. I know prayers help to make things better. Thank you very much!

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  9. What a wonderfully smart and wise man. We had floods not so long ago very close to where I live in a small seaside town called Boscastle. It was devastating. As we had a 4x4 we rushed to try and help people who were stuck in the floods. People lost so much but they too all came together and helped each other out. I will keep you and your country in my prayers.

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    1. It is wonderful how people helps each other in their moment of need. Of course there is always the other side too, those who take advantage, but I guess there's no light without darkness. Thank you, Joss!

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  10. Glad to hear you and Mother Dragon are safe! My thoughts are with those who have lost so much!

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    1. Thanks, Lara. We're still dry...well, so far. Today is my bath day, but that's good. ;)

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  11. Oh no! Sorry to hear about this Father D! Similar things are happening in Colorado. I hope you stay safe and dry. ((hugs))

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    1. I'll be praying for Colorado too then. Thanks PK! Dragon hugs!

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  12. So sad the pictures of devastation, but glad you are doing fine. Amazing the anger of mother nature, but we, as her guests have not been treating her proper. Stay safe and keep us posted.

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    1. I'm starting to wonder if it is anger or help calls. Wounds that just keep bleeding and bleeding all over us. Wish we could do more to help her and help ourselves. Dragon hugs!

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  13. People tend to forget that the earth is a living, breathing, organism, which I don't understand, because they call Mercury, Venus, and Mars dead planets. Not only does earth teem with life, but needs its support BACK, not life's destructive forces. Life needs to team with Earth.

    Consider the earth to be a human...we (humans) and animals, plants, etc., are like bacteria that help the earth (think yogurt). The earth faces attacks by viruses (bad storms), acne (volcanoes), earthquakes (nervous breakdowns!). We good bacteria rush over in support. Sometimes the antibodies help (storms that are extreme, but needed).

    But there are also bad bacteria that can do much harm and kill the planet. That's what many of us have become. BAD BACTERIA.

    The old man is one of few remaining good bacteria. He is grateful for the storms that assist us. But perhaps the antibodies wouldn't be needed (and wouldn't happen as much—global warming?) if the bad bacteria weren't taking over.

    God gave humankind dominion over the earth, and unfortunately the bad bacteria has control. We good bacteria need to gather with the strong antibodies and get them the hell out. Cure Earth. My new mantra.

    Thanks for sharing a little of your country and culture with us, Al.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. I think what you call bad bacteria was called virus in Matrix. The species that consume the natural resources of one place, utterly destroying it and moving to the next spot, doing the same. Too bad this virus is the one on top and with the power to reject or apply laws and procedures to help the earth. Too bad this virus has conflicted interests that have to do more with money and less with the health of our planet.

      The only thing left to do for us is, as always, do the best we can and pray. Thanks Mike. Dragon hugs!

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  14. Such destruction...
    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers Al!
    Take care.

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    1. Very much appreciated, Michelle. Lots of dragon hugs for you. :)

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  15. So sorry this is happening to you. It's great everyone pulled together through this. Glad you and your family are okay..

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  16. Hi Al .. glad the dragon cave with its occupants is relatively unscathed this time. Humans can suddenly pull together .. if only we could do it all the time.

    Your storms sounds really devastating ... nature just does its thing ... it's so very difficult for those affected especially where loss of life, loss of homes, loss of livelihoods has occurred ... your old man - farmer story ... what resilience of mind ... I guess he'd been through other huge challenges - and as he noted the earth is our life blood ...

    Nature will prevail .. and somehow humans pull the pieces together once again ... with thoughts - Hilary

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  17. The old man has the right attitude, as life and the planet we live on will just do what they do. Nature is what it is and barely notices us most of the time. In the UK, people have insurance which will replace what is destroyed, though I doubt many who are affected by these floods are insured. The insured people here, moan that a 'catastrophe' has occurred and no one prevented it. That old man, and all of you in Mexico, can teach us a lot about how to face these things.

    You're in my prayers.

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  18. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose everything, but, as my hubby likes to say, 'it's just stuff'.

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  19. Nature's wrath is an awesome force to reckon with. I have a friend whose parents were lost in that horrible tsunami that hit Thailand back in 2004. Glad to hear that you're okay this time around.

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  20. Praying for you, and sending big hugs your way!!!

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  21. This is horrible. I'm glad to hear that you're doing alright.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  22. Earthquakes are devastating things Al. The most important thing is you and your family are safe.

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  23. I've only been in one real earthquake. I was living in a rented apt and it scared me a little. Now I live closer to the fault, in an apt I own, and we get many more little quakes that scare the heck out of me. I don't know what I'd do in the face of the devastation shown in your pictures. I doubt I'd be as brave as that old man.

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