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The Earthquake began it's minor tremors, hardly noticed at all. The small quakes barely disturbed the tranquility of the quiet neighborhood where I lived. All the beautiful two story brick homes, stood side by side in their statuesque elegance, as they had for years. The bright sun of the day bestowed it's rays upon each home and made them appear even more radiant than ever. All the windows up and down the street, as gleaming reflectors, seem to personify a beaming message, that all was well.
But, the tremors continued.
As a young mother within my own home on this street, I was busy tending my domestic activities for the day. I had mentally noted the gentle tremors, but without much regard. First, thru my feet, small vibrations were discerned. Ever so slowly the tremors, like invisible tentacles, started to creep up my ankles, then my legs. But, still without much regard. Soon the eerie touch of nature sought its response, as each tremor intensified, and I found myself beginning to wonder if it could even be possible.
Is this what a real Earthquake felt like? I was not seeing any visible evidence as such, but instinctively I knew that this must be just the warning signs. Each tremor was building into a quake and each quake was becoming stronger and stronger. My curiosity and anxiety was matching the Earthquake's crescendo; wistfully assuming it would all end and just fade away into another day.
But, the quakes continued.
Upruptly, the agonizing sway of my house beneath my feet was enough to catch my breath and my total attention. The impossiblity had quickly become a reality. With each quake now my legs trembled in recourse. Each wave of quakes brought there own silent grimace of fear. The Earthquake was progressively intensifying, and I wondered if my home would be able to survive. With tense reasoning I knew I better react soon; with nurturing determination I took my little boy's hand to lead us both out safely.
But, the Earthquake continued.
Realizing ,my child needed a jacket on to go outside, we made our way to the staircase to go up to the hall closet. Climbing together, step by step, hand in hand, we continued. The quakes literally rocked the stairwell, it was difficult to tell if my legs were shaking out of fear or from the Earthquake's persistent shakings. The quakes were becoming so violent it was hard to stand or to walk. As we took each step together, I was able to glance out the window beside me, and the scene outside was horrifying. The home outside that filled my window frame, like a snapshot of disaster, was rocking to and fro in spasms of shock, as the quakes barged thru the neighborhood. Each window going up the staircase was filled with the same picture. Each house in sequence was being violently pitched upon its own foundation. Then, as if this were not enough, each home I had viewed just seconds before, COLLASPED! My soul was struck in mortifying shock and grief. Despairingly I watched as each beautiful home fell. In a rumble of noice and dust each stately home gave a final shutter and literally collasped inwardly upon its own foundation. Gone in a blink, with only the cloud of dust left, like a shadow image of what once had been.
But, the Earthquake continued.
Hast grabbed my feet, as I tightened my grip on the little hand clutching mine just as tightly. The only thing lift to do was vacate, leave everything and escape with our lives. The wild thoughts of the roof falling upon us or the walls caving in, overwhelmed me. For I knew if the other homes had not survived, mine was slated for the same outcome. Infact, my home should have been one of the first to go, since all the other homes on the street were much larger and stronger appearing in comparison to mine.
The quakes were still escalating and time could not be wasted. Finally the closet was reached and I hurridly put the little jacket on my now much frailer looking child. Clinging together, the stairway down looked longer than ever. The noise of the Earthquake consumed the very air and our breaths were quick and shaky. So consumed in our own episode of escape, time seemed to stand still and even our hurried pace seem like a slow motion film.
Finally making the curve of the stairway I looked down toward the landing and there in the entrance hall was another scene to behold. Instead of what it should have looked like according to all before facts that my eyes had witnessed already, another totally upredictable scene jarred my senses. Instead of seeing the mass destruction, what I saw, still made my heart jump with the same kind of fear.
People! Crowds of people! My doorway entrance was full of people. Walking in one by one, filing in as if they had advanced tickets. Each seemed to be pointing and muttering words inaudible to my ears. Curiousity and disbelief froze each expression in amazement. As we stepped down the stairway toward the crowd, some recognizable as my neighbors, some total strangers; one neighbor darted up to me and in an excited voice proceeded to tell us what was going on. All the other homes on the street had apparently been destroyed and this home (my home) was the only one left standing. Everyone had made there way here to seek shelter, but also to see why this house had been left unscathed by the Earthquake.
The crowd now filled my home and the entire first floor was a sea of people roaming around. I could just see over their heads while standing on part of the stairway; and it was like a mass inspection taking place within my house. I knew assuredly that I would get a report from someone showing me all the damage. In a state of shock I expected the real blow of the repair list and the time and money it would take to replace all that the Earthquake had destroyed, to really do me in.
But, the Earthquake had stopped.
Instead, with reassurance and delight, I was told that hardly anything needed repair or replacement! A few shingles had fallen off the roof, a cracked pane of glass here and there; but all in all, hardly nothing at all!
Disbelief turned to relief as my neighbors pointed out the few repairs. Could it really be possible? As the crowds settled down to rest and reassure one another they were more amazed than ever that my house was still left standing thru it all. The little damage suffered was minor compared with the total destruction that had engulfed the whole neighborhood. Each neighbor now began comparing their once beautiful home to mine, having believed their home should have survived also. They knew the superior construction and foundation of their own home to far surpass that of mine (the one they now sought refuge in). So some continued to rummage around in their own shock, searching for any tell tale flaws in my house; but to no avail.
I was just as perplexed as they were at this point. Going from room to room, still holding my little one's hand. Upstairs, downstairs, from the basement to the attic, still finding little to no damage whatsoever. Now to my total wonder the profoundness of the whole ordeal hit my being. Through the whole ramport of emotions experienced, the Earthquake whaled it's final blow and my mind reeled in the overload letting my natural instincts betray me. I cried. Great tears of relief, tears of pity, tears of pain, tears of tears poured forth till finally they washed out and left only a quietness.
I relaxed in the comfort and shelter of my home and the few dear ones who stayed close by. I was thankful with them to have survived the Earthquake. Through it all my house had remained intact. Who would have ever thought it to be so? I had always presumed the other homes to be better, grander, stronger, than my own. I knew they had invested much of their time and money in making them the show places they once had been. In comparison mine home could not have matched. But, alas, the Earthquake had proved us all wrong.
Then, I woke up.
The sun was pouring in from the window and warming my sleepy face. I opened my eyes wide and looked around. What was I expecting? Here I was in my bed, safe, with the morning sun greeting me. It had been a dream after all. A deep sign of relief gave way to the relief in my soul.
A dream, a dream. Just a dream! But, even then the sliver of an inward thought knew better in my morning mind. No, not just a dream. For it had embedded it's presence throughout with spiritual significance. An importance far greater than its dreamt reality.
Wake up. Wake up. I must wake up. The dream Earthquake started shaking me inside all over again. Subtle memories vexed my sunny morning as I looked out upon the quiet tranquiltiy of my neighborhood street. Gazing upon each home with renewed eyes, I pondered. Pondered and prayed. I would never be the same again.
The words of the Lord began pouring into my spirit as I prayed. To this day "The Earthquake" dream has been a benchmark of inspiration within my Christian walk. I have found great strength thru it and many great lessons. Many for my heart alone. But, many have also made there way into other hearts and lives also. Just through a dream... The Earthquake.
© C.L. Mareydt d23