Both At Once

I step into the cold morning air. This is the first day of spring. Not that I have been studying my calendar, but it seems about like the right time of the year to me. The first sound I hear is a coyote across the road, in the forest, howling and yipping. He has been awake much longer than me, perhaps knows more about the changing of the season than I know. I stand and listen more intently for him to continue,but then he is silent, as if he knew I listened and he didn’t want to entertain me a moment longer. So I get in my car and am driving down this road I live on when suddenly a dog juts out from the dark on my right side and begins barking and chasing the car. I drive past this spot every morning and have never seen this dog, nor any dog, come chasing after me. I begin to think earthquake when I see or hear animals close by me acting out of their normal character. A few moments later, another road, a second coyote darts across the road in front of me.

I think to myself while driving higher into the mountains what it was like when I last felt the big earthquake of twenty-five years ago, and how utterly senseless the ground felt as it tossed me about like a small boat on the open sea. It’s difficult to think that the solidity of land could so quickly turn into such a silly pool of elasticity, and then within a minute become firm once again. It’s all my perception, of course, these sensations I experienced during the 7.1 quake, but the wild and freely moving earth gave me a new impression that I will not so easily lose. The emotion I felt then comes quickly to the top of my consciousness this morning, for only an instant, then settles back into my depths, as I continue driving.

So spring is here and I would like to spend this day in some mood that is celebrating the renewal of life, rather than one of anticipating wreckage and ruin. What a paradox, to see life both ways at once.

12:10 PM Update:

Well, sure enough the animals in my neighborhood were quite correct. We had a 7.6 earthquake just moments ago near Acapulco, Mexico. If only one coyote had howled, I would not have been so suspect…but this morning too much animal activity was going on to not think quake…

Magnitude 7.6

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 18:02:48 UTC
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 12:02:48 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 16.662°N, 98.188°W
Depth 17.5 km (10.9 miles)

25 km (15 miles) E (95°) from Ometepec, Guerrero, Mexico
42 km (26 miles) NNW (335°) from Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, Mexico
87 km (54 miles) SW (219°) from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico
162 km (101 miles) WSW (255°) from Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
186 km (115 miles) E (96°) from Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 15.8 km (9.8 miles); depth +/- 6.5 km (4.0 miles)
Parameters NST=438, Nph=440, Dmin=312.8 km, Rmss=0.88 sec, Gp= 79°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9

Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID usc0008m6h

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