A minute ago my floor and ceiling shook, and it took me a moment to realize that it was only our landlord Mack working in the condo below us who made the noise and the shake. My first, deep in the gut reaction was, “Earthquake…I wonder how big?”
In Alaska the earthquakes are frequent, common, and usually not alarming or damaging. I remember feeling a *pop* sensation that seemed to come from the distant, yawning depths of rock and slate beneath the earth. Then the noise, sometimes a low rumble, sometimes the clattering of dishes. Sometimes it was just a shift, sideways, then a creaking sound from the supporting beams and framing of whatever building I was in at the time (work, or home). If it was a large earthquake, after the shift had passed the shaking would start, but it usually didn’t last too long. During one particularly large “roller”, one of my boss’s prized Aalto vases slid down the counter in front of my desk, the water inside sloshing out a little.
I wonder how long that will be my gut reaction when I feel a rumble or hear a rattle? We’ve been gone from Alaska a year. I wonder if it will ever leave me? Probably not. How could it?