Tsunami & Mountains in Montana

Last night when I was falling asleep, I had the television on and flipped to a show on the Discovery channel about the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It featured a collection of real video footage that people had shot that day and then interviews with survivors.

It was pretty hard to watch, but I couldn’t fall asleep while watching it. I had forgotten that there had actually been two waves. The first wave came in and surprised people and caused some bad damage, then left so people got up and were walking around. But then the second wave came and destroyed everything. In some areas, it was up to 30 feet tall. Thirty feet. What would you do if you saw a wave of water rushing at you that was over three stories tall?

For me the most interesting part of this show was an interview with a tribesman on a remote island in the middle of the Indian Oceans. I believe it was the Andomar Islands. Researchers who had studied this remote tribe had feared that the entire population of people would have been destroyed by the Tsunami, but surprisingly no one was hurt. The tribesman being interviewed said it was because they had remembered what their ancestors had told them and that you need to listen to nature.

He described how their people believe that the Earth was held up by a large tree. Good and bad spirits lived around the tree and were always fighting for control of the earth, its land, water and people. The bad spirits would shake the tree to throw off the earth’s balance, which is what caused earthquakes. And the since nature always needed to be in balance, like the good and bad spirits, the shaking of the tree would make the land and the water fight. And that this was perfectly natural to fight until a new balance was found. So when the earth shook and the water rushed away from the island so that more land could be seen (pre-tsunami), the tribespeople knew that the land was winning the fight, but that the ocean would soon come rushing back to gain balance. So the people knew they needed to run as far into the forest as possible away from the water. And this is why they had all survived. They had listened to what nature was telling them and knew in the end, balance would be found.

It’s just one of those reminders that everything shakes out in the end. Everything in supposed to be in moderation, in balance with everything else. Even in nature. Even in events much bigger than us. And we have to pay attention to it.

I also got a phone call last night from my friend Tim who’s in Montana with our men’s team for Maggotfest in Missoula. They had to fly there yesterday and Missoula is down in a valley in between mountains still covered in snow. But the weather is nice. Last night, our guys played Missoula’s men’s team and lost. Struggles with defense Tim said, against a team that supported each other well. But today the guy’s get to go whitewater rafting, which sounds infinitely more awesome than sitting in a cubicle on my computer.

But that is okay. Days like this make days where you go whitewater rafting in the mountains of Montana that much more breathtaking. Balance, I tell you. Balance.

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