Yesterday during Meeting there was an earthquake.
It being SoCal, that wasn’t so unusual. But it was my first earthquake with the Friends. We were sitting in our simple circle of chairs, in silence, when the building began to shake. There were a few pops and creaks. Though no one spoke, I could feel a tension in the room, as if each person was fully aware and ready to move if necessary. (note: we meet in an old building in the historic district of downtown Santa Ana. I do not feel very secure about the structural integrity of the building)
My first thoughts were of the children in the adjacent room. My body was poised to spring out of my seat and go to them if and when the quaking became more intense.
But it turned out to be just a small quake, not even enough to jostle our chairs. After the windows ceased rattling the peace returned to the Meetingroom. I realized that my breathing had become much more forced, even panicked. I sat back in my chair and calmed myself and returned to meditation.
At the end of the Meeting, when the silence was broken, a few Friends commented on the quake. One noted, quite simply, that if the shaking had been any worse, we probably should have moved to the side of the room opposite from the windows.