A calamity of any kind underlines how tenuous our lives really are. Yes, we still hope and plan for the future- not to do so would be foolish. At the same time, one needs to accept that our so-called 'normal' lives are fragile indeed, something to be grateful for, however mundane they may seem.
On hearing of the terrible earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan today, a verse from Sant Kabir kept coming to my mind, again and again:
Saans saans par naam le,
Vyatha saans mat khoye
Kya jaaney iss saans ka
Aavan hoye na hoye
Take God's name with every breath you take,
Do not waste a single one
Who knows whether that breath
Will be your last or not....
Of course it is not practical or possible or even sensible to not focus on one's work or studies or even leisure activities, and pray all through the day. But surely, in the dailiness of our lives, there are routine activities that can be done with our minds focused on the One above, who holds each second of our lives in His hands. Let us not take our lives for granted, or rather, let us strike the necessary balance between taking them for granted and simultaneously accepting the fact that each day could be one's last. A tricky balancing act indeed.
My sincere prayers for those who have lost their lives, and for those who have lost their dear ones in this terrible natural calamity.