The news I woke up to this morning was of devastation. A magnitude of which I can't begin to comprehend.
I've never been to Japan, but it is the country that's number one on my list of places to experience. It's been number one for most of my adult life.
It's a feeling I have deep in my bones, an intuition that Japan is a place I'll adore. There is so much that I've come to love about Japanese culture over the years. Their food is an obvious feature, but there is so much more.
So much beauty.
Yet, so vulnerable to the extremes of nature.
Since I began working as an English language teacher, I count myself lucky to have known the loveliest, most wonderfully hard-working Japanese students. Ones who made the brave and difficult step of immersing themselves completely in another country, in order to learn this tricky, idiosyncratic language known as English.
Through these hundreds of gentle souls, the complex spirit of Japan has come to feel strangely familiar to me.
The Japanese have a special place in my heart.
* * *
This is also a scary reminder to me that - as we live on a massive fault line in California - we need to be prepared for the Big One. It scares me to think of it striking, and being unable to protect my little ones.
I don't want to think about it.