The Ripe and the Ruin

Last Thursday, Anchorage, Alaska, experienced a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the city’s buildings and residents. As a native Ohioan, it took me a moment to figure out what was happening and how to react.

Shortly after it was over and my adrenaline level had returned to normal, I went to work at one of the downtown gift shops. My boss, who lived through the infamous 1964 Good Friday earthquake, said it was the biggest one she could remember within the past few years. All throughout the day, most people in the gift shop were talking about the quake, where they were when it happened, and how they reacted.

A solid nine hours later, I went on a bike ride towards the ocean. As I was coasting down a winding hill, I caught a glimpse of the ocean and mountains silhouetted by glowing pink light as the sun set. I stopped my bike and stared. It was enchanting.

Earthquakes in the morning, stunning sunsets at night. It’s fascinating how the same piece of earth can produce one unnerving event and another awe inspiring one only a few hours apart. In fact, the very elements that produced those mountains are the same elements that factor into the occurrences of earthquakes.

Life is earthquakes and mountains. Peaks and valleys. Ups and downs. The ripe and the ruin. However you want to describe it, there are things in life that will shake you – sometimes literally – and things that will captivate you and hold you still. The length and intensity of those things will vary, but they occupy the same space.

If you are experiencing the earthquake part of life, hold on and wait for the sunset.


[Note: This post originally appeared here.]

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