Perspective Check

Signs of spring continue to accumulate in Western Washington. Fruit trees bloom. Rain falls — this March is our wettest month EVER in Washington. And, as occasionally happens after heavy rains, landslides occur.

A week ago, three million dump truck loads of liquified mountain descended onto the small community of Oso, Washington. In some parts of the one-square-mile slide zone, mud is ten to twelve feet deep.

While at times it’s tough for me to live from scan to scan, I imagine it’s much harder to have one’s home, family, and community wiped out in mere seconds. Recovery efforts continue, but the odds of finding people alive at this point are slim. One young woman lost both her mother and her 4-month-old daughter in the disaster. Others are uncertain if their loved ones were in the slide zone, perhaps on the now-buried highway that passed through the town.

Yet survivors still struggle toward the light, much as blades of grass in our so-called lawn fight to emerge from under a smothering expanse of moss each spring.

There are worse things than cancer. Even so, life goes on.

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  1. That is heart breaking news I hadn’t heard. It most certainly gives perspective. I’m so sorry for the people impacted.

    1. The magnitude of the disaster is still sinking in for most folks.

  2. A beautifully written piece, Janet. I imagine we’re all thinking, “I could have been driving down that road at just that moment.” Personally, I’ve stopped taking East Valley Hwy/A Street from Auburn to Sumner because there are slide area warning signs along that route!

    1. Those of us in the Puget Sound region really should pay more attention to the hillsides we live and drive around.

  3. Claire Philpott · · Reply

    Pray they went quickly♥

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