People ask me, 'Whats it like? Living in Christchurch at the moment?' The truth is, I don't even know where to begin in answering that question because the answer is too huge. But I will try.
Life as I knew it, came to a halt on February 22nd. That may sound dramatic but it is true. Everything I did, everything I knew, everywhere I went, it all changed in less than a minute. I live in the east of the city, the most badly damaged area. What the earthquake did not destroy, the rockfall finished off.
I feel many days like a boat set adrift at sea. I miss my old life, I miss things being easy. I miss being able to go to the store. I miss not having to plan where I am going to walk or drive to avoid damage. I miss not having portaloos dotted along our street. But mostly I just miss the normality of the life I had.
It is hard answering my three year old when she points at another rock, another crack or another damaged house and asks "did the earthquake do that Mummy?", my response is always "yes sweetheart". After a pause she always replies "I don't like earthquakes Mummy".
It is hard to provide the little ones with reassurance to their fears when daily we are reminded of the power of mother nature with every aftershock that hits. Even as I write this, another earthquake has rattled us. Everyone stops for a minute, breath inhaled, remembering, waiting to see if this one is going to be a big one. It is not, we exhale and try to convince our hearts to slow down and move on with life.
I have come to realize that Christchurch will not recover from this for a very long time. We are very much a city on our knees. While I hear a lot of positivity from the politicians and the media. Living here, living in it, I know the damage is just too huge. This won't be fixed this year, or next year or the year after that. It will take decades.
It makes me sad, to see this city I love, reduced to this.