I am a 72 year old retired electronics Sales Engineer. I had just bought a house of my dreams in Governors Bay earlier that year and then was overseas for 4 months. I arrived back on the 1st September and was confronted with a number of slips in the Bay Area due to the heavy rain I understood had occurred that August. I can only remember talking to my neighbour the previous evening before the Sept Quake and asking. “Was my new home built into solid rock foundations”? The fact that he gave me an un-ensuring answer left me in a clear frame of mind as to what was happening seven hours later.
There was no doubt in my mind that my home was sliding down the cliff and I was about to meet my dear departed wife. I survived 4.35.
It’s 4.35am, not a time that that in the past I can recall ever been woken.
But suddenly awake with a startling fright. Nothing said, nothing spoken.
Maybe I am dreaming this is all surreal. It can’t be, I am secure I am free.
Not able to think for noise, Jumbo Jet engine’s with a deafening shrill.
What was going on? I can’t stand still. The ground comes up to meet as I crawl.
The noise is load I don’t hear the pictures, the mirrors and the glassware fall.
What seems like eternity and the thoughts so many, maybe it was an hour?
Feeling that life was been taken, slipping away but everything is still shaken.
With such commotion and movement and deliberation gave one an uncertain sensation.
That this was the end this is such a shame I just bought this house and I’m to blame.
The house I just bought with all its fantastic sea views now left a desire to be refused.
At last it all subsides you lay spread eagled on the bedroom floor holding on.
Then silence, your breathing is heavy. How many times have you said “Oh my God?”
Did you know what you were saying and now I am on my feet in total darkness.
Standing up feeling each wall. I can’t remember where the doors are I can’t recall.
Still in blackness and you try to remember where you left the candles and torch.
Body shaken more than the floor. Be logical and calm of course you’re in no harm.
Struggling in a daze in bewildering pattern, is your house still on the cliff, did it happen?
Here am I in that changed world, am I really alive. What ever happened did I survive.
But then with found torch and candles in hand I am again born in my house on my land.
My back garden and deck with tables and chairs. Their still part of me, they are still there.
My faith and belief in all that’s contentious bring me to understand that life is tremendous.
It just pores over me I burst into tears. What the hell happened? I have lived my worst fears.