The Latin phrase Terra firma conveys the sense that we live and move on a solid earth. While this is relatively true, every so often we are reminded that, in fact, the hard ground we tread upon, is sailing atop a super-hot, subterranean stratum of melted stone.
Situated near the intersection of massive tectonic plates, the people of Japan have had their lives shaken apart as the Pacific Tectonic plate submerged itself under its North American counterpart. This is but the latest movement in a process billions of years old.
It is a process in which countless precious lives have been lost. Yet, it is a continuing dynamic in which all human life initially emerged and became magnificently manifest.
Indeed, whole landmasses have been spawned by enormous, primeval volcanism. Still, more fundamentally, the violent subduction and eruption cycle, occasioned by a constantly moving, molten-borne mosaic, has given rise to our present atmosphere, continually recycling the air we are so blessed to breathe.
In this latest manifestation of what it means for giant land masses to be floating on a sea of magma, Japan actually moved closer to the United States.
Yet, even more crucially, many more nations find themselves reaching out and moving much closer to Japan. Both friends and former enemies are even now hearkening to the cries of those in dire need.
While causing almost unspeakably cruel heartache, crises often give rise to some of the greatest acts of human courage and generosity. When our Earth seems to be shaken apart, it is then that people appear to be most inclined and empowered to stand together.
Indeed, the ground of our existence is not as stable as we might like. Yet, at the core of our being, it is why we are here, and, in present form, it is effecting the very best of what we, as human beings, are able to do.
Rocks underfoot may give way, but the Sun will Rise in the Land again, relationships will be renewed, and a deeper reconciliation may indeed emerge and remain.