The Earthquake





It was the explosion I heard first, followed by my daughter's scream. A second of shaking and then, silence.


An earthquake.


Our little island was the center of it. Right off our coast, right below our mountain.


Right here.


The news said if you hear a loud bang you are right at the epicenter.


That loud bang went right through me.


I brought the kids to bed, I lay with them as they fell back asleep.


Sleep that alluded me as the earth's mouth lay open below...


... and I could still hear it breathing.


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The next day, all was still. My son and I went for a walk in the woods when it started to snow.


Huge flakes falling from an endless grey sky.


We caught them with our tongues, our hands.


We counted how long we could hold one until it melted.


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"This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath." Margaret Atwood