Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Of Mother Nature and Little Women

by Pa Rock

Yesterday was sort of a red-letter day in my life when it comes to observing and experiencing natural phenomenon.  It began early in the day when someone entered our Monday morning staff meeting and announced that the solar eclipse was happening at that moment.  We rushed outside as a group and got to see the event at its zenith.  Approximately ninety-percent of the sun was darkened by the moon passing between it and Earth, with only a narrow slice of bright sun appearing along the bottom of the dark moon.  It was an amazing sight, one that I have not seen before and probably never will again.

That was followed about four hours later by a relatively brief, but nonetheless jarring, earthquake.

Quite a combination - an eclipse and an earthquake on the same day!  In medieval times the Church would have started rounding up suspected witches!  It was a strange pair of occurrences.

Last evening, as I was reading myself to sleep, it got even stranger.

The current book on my bedside table is the Library of America's edition of the works of Louisa May Alcott.   As mentioned here before, Little Men was one of my very favorite books while growing up - and it was the first book that I owned all to myself.  This volume, the one from Library of America, contains the three interlocking novels of Miss Alcott:  Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys, and I am currently on the first of those, Little Women.  While reading last night I came across this paragraph, which had some resonance with the events of earlier in the day:

"The unusual spectacle of her busy mother rocking comfortably, and reading early in the morning, made Jo feel as if some naturnal (sic) phenomenon had occurred;  for an eclipse, an earthquake, or a volcanic eruption would hardly have seemed stranger."

Stranger, indeed!

Well, actually it does get stranger.  My good friend, Daniel Murphy, has been attending a workshop in central Mexico and he was supposed to have arrived back on Okinawa last night - and I was to have met him at the airport.  That didn't happen because Daniel's flight from Mexico was cancelled and he had to make arrangements to do some of his travel by bus.  His flight was cancelled because of particulate matter in the air - matter that was spewed into the air by an active volcano!

That's three for three.  Not bad, Miss Alcott, not bad at all!  I shall continue reading your books, but with greater care to detail and a healthy dose of trepidation!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

All that on the anniversary of the Joplin tornado!

I hope Mr. Murphy was able to book his bus ride on Tres Estrellas. That's one of the best bus lines in Mexico.