Friday, July 29, 2005

Background Noise

The balcony of Samudra Sri Children's Home has a fantastic view of the ocean. The sounds of the waves crashing makes for a good night's sleep. But just a few short months ago - this same ocean unleashed itself against the land and overtook it. Miraculously and thankfully for the orphanage, its location, perched on a hilltop, kept it from damage. The water reached the ground floor but there was only minor flooding.

At the edge of the grounds is a tall chain link fence. The beach and ocean just outside the walls. I asked one of the workers if the children play on the beach as I see no signs of typical tropical activity - I've only seen one fishing boat.

Their comment, "fear keeps the beach uninhabited" and even I confess as I look out at the magnificent water - its magnitude and the reality of what it is capable of, is a bit unnerving. It is so huge - as far as the eye can see across the horizon - I can't imagine it coming ashore, full force - nothing stopping its advance.

Yet here, where the waves continually sound the presence of the past fury - there is laughter. The children joyfully playing against the backdrop of a tropical dream which one day turned into a nightmare.

There is no escaping this noise - this reality - this threat. There is only trust, trust enough that allows for joy and the sound of laughter.