Thirty Seconds

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Life is like a dream and time is illogical, it doesn’t know of rules or patterns. However, we forget it sometimes. And when we believe we have everything under control, thirty seconds are enough to prove us wrong…

It was a Tuesday, 4:24 in the morning when the earth shook. After the earthquake finished, I immediately google the news on my phone.

There they were: collapsed houses, citizens fleeing, the electricity gone. Then, I realized it: thirty seconds have the power to change our lives.

I don’t recall feeling an earthquake so strong. What was supposed to be a normal day, became a nightmare. We were meant to be celebrating our extended Christmas (because we celebrate Christmas from November to the half of January). Instead, we found ourselves back in the days after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

You could smell the fear and the uncertainty in the air. Moreover, you could see the people’s thoughts floating around… What if it happens again?

And it did, but not stronger. A few hours later an aftershock moved the floor again. Thirty seconds more that would cause someone to lose his or her house and belongings. A moment that woke up those who were trying to sleep again, like me.

An instance that filled with fear every human being walking on the now unstable soil. Thirty seconds, not even a minute.

The strangeness of time

Truthfully, time is scary itself. Have you ever stopped to think about how so little of it can transform so much in us? It doesn’t take a long period to hear a goodbye, to receive an insult, to see someone die, or to take a wrong decision.

Moreover, time is one of those things we can’t control; it slips through our fingers.  Therefore, as everything out of our power, it is incomprehensible.

However, as inexplicable as it is, those thirty seconds that paralyzes us with doubt, can shift our vision towards the significant matters. The instance that terrorized me, was the same one that several individuals took to write “Are you ok?” or “Are you safe?”.

For that moment, friends and family positioned their concern for me over their growing panic. In fact, it took less than thirty seconds to read one of the messages that brought me to tears: it was from a high school friend that lives in New York.

Yes, he wrote to his family, BUT he also remembered me… Me, with whom he can’t meet or communicate frequently.

Seconds that change our life

In conclusion, an occasion has the power to change our lives permanently.  Nonetheless, an equal moment can bring us happiness and hope. Thirty seconds shook the floor. Still, they also brought me comfort and love.

We can’t control the time. Nevertheless, its worst quality is also its best: it never stops.

So, even if thirty seconds alter your life forever, if you lived something that crushed your heart and damaged your soul, thirty seconds and thirty years more will come. Learn with time, let it teach you substantial things and take away those that aren’t so.

Time won’t let us grasp it, yet, it invites us to follow it towards tomorrow.



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