Like many people I've spent the past few days reading and listening non-stop to news about Japan, and still it is all so inconceivable. The effects of the earthquake and tsunami are utterly devastating and I think of all the people now living in fear of nuclear meltdown too and wonder how I would cope with all of that loss and uncertainty. A photo of a mom holding her young child up to be checked for radiation exposure sucked the wind out of me.
Ruby asked a lot of questions tonight, particularly about the tsunami. Her blue eyes grew big and round when I explained that the force and height of the water experienced in Japan's coastal areas would topple our house and push all the cars in the street around. She wanted to know how many people died and if we know any of them. She wanted to know if anyone we know has ever even been to Japan. She wanted to know how a tsunami starts in the first place.
My doctor has been posting on her blog about possible radiation exposure where we live. It seems almost disrespectful to worry about some low level we might experience here but all the same I've increased our leafy green vegetables and sea vegetables to pump up our non-radioactive iodine levels. I've heard before that most Americans are deficient in iodine but it never really seemed relevant before. (Or, rather, so many other things seemed more urgent.) Last night I made a lovely miso soup from homemade dashi with shitake, wakame, and kelp noodles and felt that the meal was both a tribute to the Japanese as well as the start of some protection against whatever radiation we may or may not be exposed to someday.
Two of my friends, Kate at mother words: mothers who write and Elizabeth at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell, are making a donation to the Red Cross for each reader who leaves a comment who has never left one before. I think that's a grand idea, and so I am borrowing it too. If you are a new or infrequent commenter, leave one this time, and in a few days I will make a donation to the Red Cross.