Eyjafjallajokull and perspective


These are exciting times. They aren’t the best of times, and these times are as exciting as I hope life gets.
It’s exciting to be alive when the United States elects its first African American president. It’s exciting to watch as health care reform takes shape. It’s exciting to see what my employer HMSA does to position itself in Hawaii and the nation when it comes to health care reform.
What else makes life exciting? Catastrophes. I didn’t ask what makes life exciting in a good way. Unfortunately, we’re reluctant to look back at life’s lessons and do better the next time around.
We in Hawaii have been very lucky when it comes to devastation. Hurricane Iniki was the last true butt kicker. Remember the rolling blackouts? We brace for tsunamis that diminish before they hit, we dodge a bullet everytime a hurricane gets sheared by countering tradewinds. We find equilibrium when our kids stay home from school on Furlough Fridays. We shrug when Madame Pele slowly caramelizes homes with her oozing lava on the Big Island.
Then Mother Nature shakes off her short nap, insists on some attention, belches a nasty silica cloud over a quarter of the globe from Eyjafjallajokull (see these pics!), and we hiccup, we wobble, we can’t quite adjust. No matter how fine tuned and high tech humanity has become, something could drop out of the sky or burst from our orb and force a new perspective.
We’re not dinosaurs, so we’ll get through it. I think.