Based on a story I heard:
It was not just the earth that had shaken, so had Stephen’s confidence with life as he had known it. It was probably nothing more than just a minor tremor, but how much had it impacted him! Thoughts were running about his wife and three kids.
‘What if it had been something worse? What if the roof had simply caved in? What’s the assurance that we’d be alive the next moment? What’s the assurance of tomorrow for any one?’
He knew for sure that there would have been some lesser privileged ones. In his thoughts he could already hear the cries of hundreds of people – individuals who’ve lost their mud-huts, families ruined beyond repair. The regular Sunday morning suddenly seemed like a gift from the almighty to him. He was alive and surrounded by his family, what more could he ask for?!
He saw Edwin his three year old son playing with his toys. The tremor had shaken him not one bit. Then there was Alice and Dorothy who were still taking their long Sunday nap. His wife, Martha was preparing food in the kitchen.
Stephen went close to his son and started playing with him. Those tiny hands seemed to hold a charm of its own, immediately lifting his melancholy and morose thoughts. It took just a few seconds for a babbling kid to convince a man that all was well in their little huddle!
It was then that the second tremor shook the house, this time a bit more powerful than the one before. It literally took away Stephen’s breath! He swept his (now crying) son closer toward chest and shouted for his two daughters; yells that were unnecessary for they were both in full run out of the house. Martha had also stopped her culinary activities and joined him out of the house.
The second tremble didn’t last more a minute. But Stephen was convinced there would be more. He was sure Martha was thinking on the same lines. He decided that their house was no longer a safe haven; at least not for that day.
“What do we do now Steve?” Martha’s voice was hardly a whisper. His two daughters were shaking from head to foot. The truth be told, so was he; but he was bent on not showing it out. His son had stopped crying for the moment but continued again sensing a sudden silence.
It took him just a moment to decide their destination for the morning.
“Go get changed quickly Martha. Take the kids along; but don’t spend too much time inside. Let’s go out.“
“But where are we going?“
“The only safe place I can think of – let’s go to the beach!“