- Posted September 29, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
The moment Haiti crumbled Jan 12/10
We had the wedding finished, the photos were in the camera and the big reception was over and had no fear until we returned to our hotel rooms and saw CNN's report of the devastaton at midnight and wondered if we would ever leave the island of the Dominican Republic alive. It was midnight that eve when we learned of the calamity.
The time of these photos was January 12, 2010 at about 5 p.m. We were at Punta Cana, AKA Higuey, Hispanola just east of Haiti. We were waiting for the next big quake or tidal wave to carry us away, we never thought we would leave the island alive.
Yet we flew out, after the airport runways were checked for quake fractures. Horrific lines for those leaving the island. My wife almost died from swimming in the ocean after the quake as she ingested contaminated water caused from the dead. She struggled for life for 3 months after we left this God-forsaken island. filled with crime and Dengue Fever and corruption. We WILL NEVER GO BACK? NEVER. Was it beautiful...yes.
Can we know what is coming? No. No one has a crystal ball. Wear life like a loose shirt and learn to travel light.
We cannot know or comprehend the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that are being hurled our way.
Sometimes its best not to see too far into the future, nature has a way of protecting us from too much advanced knowledge of what is coming next.
And as the years pass, nature also has a way of gently releasing us from our love of life, love and passion and the need for material things. Age brings moderation, the release from vanity and physical needs and impulses.
I have often thought: The troubles mount as the treasures rise. Less is more. Less is best. Let the bonfires rage triumphant over human vanities.
Now I travel more lightly. I expect and desire less.
Content as I am with my simple passion for nature and my old books gathered about my knees as my 77 year old dog looks loyally to me for one more walk.
And tomorrow? Who knows?
The winds blow from the east, then the west.
There are rumors of war in the mid east.
Inflation, recession, lost jobs, drought, hurricanes,global bank failures, and so much more. Tis too much to bear.
Yet all of this has happened 10,000 times before. Glaciers, war, betrayal, mayhem and great droughts and volcanoes which have tested the limits of Homo Sapiens.
We all carry on, the road travelled in hope is much better and happier than the road travelled in despair and gloom. And believe me I have travelled both.
If the rivers or the volcanoes rise, we must rise above.
And remember the words of Lao Tzu "Over the course of a long life, a man must be prepared to leave his baggage many times."
And as the lava rivers surrounded us on a great volcano, my wife and I just sought higher ground.
The last photo illustrates the great rivers of lava coming off Kilauea Volcano as we took photos, thinking we were immune from the rising rivers of lava. How naiive we were. Life has a way , when you try and arrange it, of making a mess of the best laid plans.
The last two photos show me on the lava flow the eve of the night when we were cut off by unexpected lava rivers that came out of nowhere onto the Kilauea plain below the vocano and totally engulfed us. We almost burned alive.
And so it goes. I have lived, and well. And I can go with peace knowing I have seen great typhoons and events that few have seen and lived through. Amazed as I am by the weird passage of life and the trance of this time.