Today was St David's Day. Usually I look around at home and try to find a silk daffodil left over from the NZ Cancer Society's Daffodil Day in August and pin it on my shirt to show I am celebrating "Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant." Not today. This morning I put on my black trousers, red shirt and a solemn face as I prepared to go to work. Canterbury rugby colours, a small symbol of standing shoulder to shoulder with those in earthquake-stricken Canterbury.
Today at 12.51 pm, most people in New Zealand stood silent for two minutes to think about those who have died or been injured in the earthquake that struck Christchurch at 12.51 pm last Tuesday. A few colleagues and I made our way over to the hospital chapel to share this time with other staff and patients and two of the chaplains, in an informal gathering to stand together thinking of all those affected. Very sobering. Even after the official period of silence was over, many of us didn't talk for some time, lost in our own thoughts.
My 10 year old son, whom we shall call "Sonny Jim," told me they stood quietly in the playground at school for two minutes silence today during their usually rowdy lunch break. Children and teachers together. 18 children from Christchurch now attend his school, for however long it takes. . .
So, no "Happy St David's Day!" for me this year. But instead, an outpouring of thoughts and love for Christchurch. . . from all around New Zealand and the rest of the world.