I felt the earth move ...

I felt a trembling sensation beneath my feet that quickly increased in velocity, intensity and magnitude. One moment I was standing at a table giving resistance to the pressure of a man's arm against my hands, and the next we were standing, legs spread for balance, side by side in the doorway of the gym riding the waves as our ranch-style building rolled like a ship in a violent storm with the 6.8 magnitude earthquake. At one point, I realized I was hanging onto Karl's arm, the one I'd been rehabilitating only a moment before, to stabilize myself. I said, "Oh! I'm sorry!" Karl said, "That's OK," as we continued to sway with the building.

It was a surreal experience as I watched the drama unfold from an observer's position, the building and all its contents swaying to and fro. My thoughts were those of an observer. First, "Earthquake!" Then, as the building rocked, "I wonder where this is going?" I don't recall fear or dread. And then the swaying slowed to a halt like a ride at an amusement park, and the strange sound subsided with it as we came to a halt. The vibration beneath my feet lingered for a few seconds and then disappeared.

Karl ran for his coat and as I contemplated what had just happened, he was heading for the door, calling back something about taking pictures of possible landslides. A few seconds later, he reappeared to beckon us to come see one on the side of Mount Si. Dust rose from the base of the mountain, and a small gap was visible where the earth had released a mound of soil.

Moments later, I walked across the street to the Methodist Church in Snoqualmie to attend a memorial celebration of the life of a husband of one of our clients. I found her and we hugged, long and warm as she told me she loved me, was so glad to see me and I told her I loved her, too.

Sitting in the church close behind Lorna, our client, I looked around me and wondered at the whole scenario of it all. The church intact. The people calm, going on with life and remembering one who'd gone before us about two weeks ago.

The minister began the service saying, "I've never begun a memorial with an earthquake before, but Gordon did love nature, didn't he?"

Joy Greenwell


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