The Rhythm of Life

2.7, 3.4, 4.3, 5.5

These are the numbers that come via email to my phone on a regular basis.
They are the size of the tremors in Christchurch, New Zealand today.
I could also say that they are set to the rhythm of my heartbeat.

4.4, 3.4, 6.0, 4.9 

Some of you know that daughter #1, 
Miss Christine, is a University student in Christchurch.
We talk nearly every day.
We last parted in January, six months too many.

4.0, 3.7, 3.4

It is time and my flight is booked for Friday.
I have a few obstacles... 
an ash cloud hovering over the Pacific 
and aftershocks setting their pace 
in the depths of Christchurch.

3.5, 3.5, 3.5

Why am I writing about this?
One of the reasons I picked the title 
of this blog is that life is open ended.
What can you say about life? 
What can you not say about life?

 3.6, 3.0, 2.9, 3.5

Sometimes it whizzes by so fast 
that you feel like you are running
 circles around the globe.
Sometimes you feel like it is not 
happening fast enough.

3.7, 3.2, 4.0, 3.4

Too fast and we want to slow down. 
Too slow and we want to 
crank it up a notch or two.

2.9, 4.1, 3.4

Then, every now and again, 
you get what I like to call the 'stretch'
When life is like one big 
long push in a hammock, you let go,
and glide gently, back and forth. 
Perfect balance.

2.8, 3.2, 3.3

I know that 'stretch' will come
when I hold Miss Christine
in my arms again.

3.6, 3.4...

Breathe in, Breathe out

Thank you for reading 
Collage of Life 

Statistics: The numbers above refer to the Richter magnitude of the quakes felt in the Canterbury region. They are recorded by GNS Science. I subscribed after my first tremor in Auckland, New Zealand, 5 years ago. A small one but one I will never forget it. I can't imagine anything greater. The recordings above started coming in at 10:37pm (UK time) on 12 June 2011. I have noted every one since with the last emailed to me at 1:00pm on 13 June. For more information, click here


  1. I have just found your blog, utterly beautiful. Roll on Friday and good luck with those obstacles. ...xx

  2. I've been thinking about you and your daughter, this morning, after hearing there was another severe aftershock. I am so happy to hear you will soon be holding your daughter in your arms once again.

  3. Jeanne, what an interesting and appropriate analogy . . . for life.
    Pryaing for your daughters safety and your soon reunion.


  4. I just logged on my computer again because I just heard about Christchurch in the news. I immediately thought about your daughter. I hope she is fine? Good to hear that you are going to see her. Just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you and yours.

  5. I do hope you get away Jeanne.....I know how happy you will be when you get there....xv

  6. Beautiful post. I will be so happy for you when you are reunited with your daughter.

  7. My prayers that your daughter will stay safe. Oh - the heartache only a parent knows. Lana

  8. Thank you all...I sit eagerly in wait for the travel reports :)

  9. Thank you all...I sit eagerly in wait for the travel reports :)

  10. I hope very much that your mind is set at rest soon too.

  11. Hang in there darling! Have a safe journey and safe home to you!

  12. I heard about the severe aftershock and immediately thought of you and your daughter. Hold her in your arms, my friend, and squeeze her tight. Know what you mean about that hammock - for me, it's when the roller coaster just moves along at a lovely speed, not climbing, not roaring down...

    Concerned about the ash, too - we're across the Pond on the 28th.

  13. Jeanne,

    I was thinking of you this morning,as I heard of the earthquake, I hope that your daughter is well and that you are managing to hold it all together until you arrive there on Friday. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Beautiful post.

    Take care of yourself, I will be thinking of you.


  14. Jeanne I gasped when I read your blog - I hadn't heard about the aftershocks. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Miss Christine. May God keep you both safe!
    I'm over at my new blogsite - Molly xx

  15. I wish you a safe journey and a wonderful reunion with your daughter. You describe the rhythm of life very well.

  16. The numbers make your post look like a poem Jeanne. We'll all be thinking of you for your journey, come home safely!

  17. Hi Jeanne, You must feel so very far away when you here of these awful aftershocks. I love the way you describe your life journey. The hammock puts it so very well. Lets hope you get here without obstacles as planned to spend some lovely time with Christine. (Air NZ is still flying.) Amanda xx

  18. I feel so sorry for the people of Christchurch. I do not know how they can cope with such trauma, day in, day out for so many months. I hope your daughter stays safe. Best wishes to all in Christchurch - it was such a beautiful city.

  19. Jeanne ~
    I can hardly wait for you to be reunited with your beautiful daughter. I hope this is the end of the quakes and aftershocks. Christchurch has had more than enough to deal with.
    I am praying for your safe journey and for Christine's safety. Blessings to you.

    Gentle hugs!

  20. Beautiful! It amazes me what beauty comes from such difficult moments. I especially loved the part about the hammock and enjoy those moments in life a great deal. I am wishing for you to travel safely and for you and Christine to be reunited as soon as possible-- and for many happy hammock moments to come! Thinking of you -Chris

  21. The psychological exhaustion written on the faces of Cantabrians last week was heartbreaking. Let's hope Hughie & the Earthquake Gods give them a break & soon. Safe travels Jeanne & enjoy every moment spent with your darling girl.
    Millie x


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