22.02.2011: The day the earth shook and my hometown was changed forever, left in pieces on the ground - along with my heart and those of hundreds of thousands of fellow Cantabrians and New Zealanders.
I cannot get my head around what has happened in my beloved hometown of Christchurch. The devastation, the loss of life, the loss of the history of the beautiful city where I grew up - it's all too hard to comprehend. I am so incredibly grateful that all of my family and friends are safe and well, with only broken things to contend with, and not broken bodies.
I have been meaning to update here with posts of projects finished, of children's birthdays and of my impending 'big' birthday, but everything pales into insignificance when I watch television footage of the tragedy that has occurred in Christchurch. So many others who have lived through this horrendous ordeal have written heart wrenching stories of how they survived and the panic and fear that gripped this city following this violent earthquake that measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, and was only 5km deep and very close to the city, directly under Lyttleton - and written them in a way that has brought tears to my eyes time and again.
There are stories of survival and bravery as people and communities pull together to help each other in a way that warms the heart and restores ones faith in human nature and the indomitable spirit of Cantabrians.
I have not lived in Christchurch for a number of years (in fact I have lived in Wellington for more years than I lived in Christchurch), but it is still and always will be 'home' to me. To see the city I love brought to its knees in this way, to see the beautiful, historical buildings I identify as being the heart of Christchurch, reduced to rubble, to see the people of Christchurch suffering and in pain, with too many having lost their lives - it's almost too much to bear. I have spent the last few days in a state of shock, not quite knowing what to do.
The Christchurch I remember is gone forever and the city will take years to rebuild, but it will never be the same. But it will be rebuilt and the spirit of Cantabrians will survive.