There's nothing like an earth tremor to wreck your night's sleep. Just after midnight there was a rumbling and shaking that had me leaping out of bed and willing it to stop. Fortunately it did, after a short while, but it was a 5.8 on the Richter scale experience. I went downstairs and out into the garden and watched the water in the pool wildly slopping about and listened to the frogs who were in full throat and totally unphased by their habitat taking on an unknown energy. Meanwhile, the electricity went and the night was completely dark, the stars were shining. Dogs everywhere, but not my own, barking and no doubt everyone awake in their houses wondering, wondering, wondering... Will it quake again? I eventually went back to bed and then got up really late today, Sunday.

Over the years there have been varying intensities of earth tremors. Some are just a quick lurch which provoke a feeling of giddiness and others carry on, or stop and start, or go sideways or go up and down. It's not much fun when it happens at night but in general they make you feel the immense power of this earth and you realise how small you are in the grand scheme of things. Everyone also always thinks back to 1985 when Mexico City was rocked by an enormous quake, that left thousands dead. Everyone has their own story of that awful experience. In those days there were no high buildings in the city, now there are many, and in theory they are quake proof. It's interesting that very little damage is caused by these quakes, which in general are between 5 and 7 on the Richter scale. Often the same intensity of quake in other countries round the world causes terrible damage. I take comfort from the fact that the 1985 experience taught us all a lot, and building regulations were changed completely as a result. Anyway, all is well and I shall probably find new cracks in my walls in about a week's time. 

Meanwhile the volcano is still puffing away. I saw it through the clouds on my way home the other day and it was stunningly beautiful, covered with snow and erupting great burps of materials and vapour. I tried to take a photo from my bedroom window but it was hard since I had to do through the mosquito netting but here it is, you will get the idea. The zoom on my camara makes it look much closer than it is, we are not in danger here...!

With all this evidence of the planet's innate power we should take a moment to contemplate our fragility, our brief moment on Earth, our ability to take what we want from the Earth and give it back in such a way that we only contribute to its destruction. 


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