Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Of Aftershocks, and Springtime

I headed off to work this morning with my nerves still jangling from the big aftershock. I planned to do all the errands on the way to work that I hadn't done on Saturday, because everything was shut. So it was first to the post office, then to the bank. Which turned out to be shut again, due to the aftershock. It was no use going to the next nearest branch on my route, or the one after that, because they have both been behind cordons since the initial quake. So I just went to work, and sorted the travel money later. No thanks to the call centre, which directed me to the web site. Or the web site, which claimed all branches were open, with the exception of the two behind cordons that I already knew about. I guess it is difficult for them to keep up, because things keep opening and closing and opening again - including the airport, so I have my fingers crossed for Friday.

I had my camera with me, since it was the first time since the quake I had had to drive from one side of the city to the other. But I realised that I was in absolutely no mood to take photos of ruined buildings. The newspaper is doing a great job in that respect, so I'll buy the book (there's bound to be one). Along the way I drove over a couple of bridges with suspicious bumps in them that weren't there before - I presume they've been inspected and approved as safe - and along a number of roads where safety fencing partly blocked off one lane at intervals, where rubble had fallen.

But then I did stop to take photos (see above). As we'll be away for just over two weeks, I'm hoping there will be no aftershocks when we get back (feeling a bit guilty about leaving the family behind to put up with them. Even if they are grown up enough to take care of themselves). However, I can also guarantee there will be no daffodils when we get back - or at least, only shrivelled ones.

It reminds me of Housman when he wrote of cherries:

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

So, it suddenly seemed important to stop and take photographs of daffodils, since I probably have considerably fewer than fifty springs left.

Christchurch is glorious in springtime.


Penelope said...

Who would know those daffodils had been through so many earthquakes? Warm wishes to you Catherine as you wait for all to settle.

Deb said...

Glad you & yours are safe. But what a blow to the city, your country.

The poem & flowers are a gift. Thank you.