Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vital Signs

Having been felled by an upper respiratory bug, I’m home watching coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. Devastation. Pain. Destruction. More pain. It’s almost too heart wrenching to watch. I sent my money to my favorite charity (who arrived within hours and are working furiously). I sent off prayers and energy. What else can one do, when one is far removed geographically?

I grabbed another hot toddy for my throat and pulled up the blanket and kept watching the telly. Watched CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta tenderly triage a days-old baby. The baby’s mum had died in the ‘quake and this little one had a head laceration but otherwise seemed ok. How random. If this little one had delayed her birth; had lingered in her mum’s warm body for a few days longer, this little one would be dead too. But she had emerged days, possibly hours before the tragedy, and as a result she lived, and her mum is dead. And she is broadcast all over the world; her little face scrunched up in indignation at Dr Gupta’s inquiry.

The one thread of beauty in all this is almost lost in the horror. From all over the world, help is pouring in. From China. From Iceland. From Venezuela. From Spain, Belgium, Canada they come. From Fairfax Virginia USA they come. So many planes. So many planes they had to halt landing on the damaged runways of Port au Prince. All those planes.

I had a vision of the planes; their landing gear extending as one by one they landed. Appearing out of the clouds. The clunk of landing gear. Touching down with a bump and a braking. Taxi to the edge. Help pouring off. And then another plane. More landing gear. Touching down. Landing gear. Landing gear. And in my vision I heard the Foo Fighters’ song: Wheels. And the whole vision was so beautiful my sore throat choked on tears. Plane after plane emerging and landing. From the clouds. Like the angels. Their wheels came down and they landed. When the wheels come down. When the wheels touch down..

From all over the world they come. We all come. Part of us is hurting.

We are one planet. We are one people. And it frequently takes tragedies like this to evidence it.

Godspeed the helpers. Godspeed the Lightworkers, whatever form they take.


  1. That is a poetic,touching picture of a devastating situation. Thank you for your insight! (also for the Foo Fighters; one of my faves!

    Cheryl P.

  2. Interesting about your landing gear vision. Our older son and another member of his St. John V.I. rescue squad & 2 park service guys chartered a plane and are heading there with medical supplies again this morning. The other day they were turned back by our military because of an aftershock which was a stupid reason to disallow landings. Pilots were not happy and the radio traffic was interesting. Today they may land on a road if it's too screwed up at the airports.

    Landing gear ......

  3. Jim, bless them for their work. I pray this situation is politicized as little as possible, and people just continue to give what they are reasonably able. If everyone would do that, even if it were 25 cents in a cup, that would also mean that the rich would pony up proportionally. And they are a bit. Sandra Bullock gave over a million. Look what George Clooney has done.

    I see many more landing gear. I keep hearing the screeching of tyres on a good way.