Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday
in the Apennines

While most of the Christian World observes Good Friday today, in L'Aquila in the Apennines of central Italy, the city buries its dead, victims of the recent earthquake. Ironically, an earthquake struck Jerusalem on this day nearly 2,000 years ago. But its aftermath was one of affirmation not despair. This is a time for reflection and renewal-and the city will rebuild and renew again. But for the families who lost loved ones in this natural disaster, renewal will be a long and difficult road. Nature is an awesome force that doesn't take into consideration whether man is secure within its confines. Man often looks to God for answers on why nature can sometimes be so cruel. The answers are there-they're just not understood. While it would be smug to suggest that people should just not live in such a disaster prone area-I would point out that most of us would have to leave our residences. But to where? No place is totally secure from the forces of nature. Without such awesome displays of nature's wrath, how could we possibly appreciate nature's soothing displays? Her sunsets, bountiful prairies and forests, awe-inspiring landscapes, and life sustaining waters? The cities and villages of the Apennines will continue to flourish-just as they have for thousands of years. The sun will rise once more over L'Aquila. Earthquakes shatter our sense of security. If Terra firma isn't so firm, what is? How about our human spirit?

(photo- a lone chamois (Camoscio d'Abruzzo (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata))in the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo. I hiked up to this basin to see them. The Abruzzo National Park ranks among my favorite places on the planet)

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