I have no doubt you have heard of our earthquake. 7.7 on The Richter Scale – yes, it was a big one. While we celebrate the fact that only one death was directly attributable to the earthquake, that of a man who was killed when a historic homestead collapsed and a woman who died of a heart attack; we mourn for the two lives lost. The man’s 100-year-old mother survived.
And those of us affected by minor damage in our houses try to get back some sense of normalcy into our lives. Added to the damage caused to roads and buildings, has been the torrential rain that we have experienced since the quake. Many buildings in Wellington’s Central Business District have been damaged, shops, offices and schools are closed while the result of damage to the properties is evaluated.
But down south at and near the epicentre things are so much worse. Some places are cut off entirely as roads are impassable.
It is at times such as this when we thank the powers that be for our being unhurt by a disaster of this magnitude that we take stock of our lives once again.
Shirley Conran told us that Life is too Short to Stuff a Mushroom” but this poem by Rose Milligan says it for me:
“Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
to paint a picture ,or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead?
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
with the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
this day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself will make more dust.”
Wikipedia tells me it was originally published in 1998 in “The Lady” Britain’s longest-running weekly women’s magazine. It has been in continuous publication since 1885 and is based in London.
So dust if you must, or stuff a mushroom but for me, this has been yet another wake-up call. So I’m off to see what other adventures await me.