"On Monday, across the field of black mud that used to be Natori, brightly clad searchers bent to their work — the police in navy blue, the handlers of sniffer dogs in orange, the military squads in digital camouflage.
"They made their way around marooned boats and collapsed houses, finding toys, torn bedding, tangled fishing nets, broken toilets, pieces of cars, pieces of pottery, all the mundane pieces of daily life, now broken. A wheelchair. A rubber ball.
"Occasionally, too, they found a body, sometimes already covered by a futon or a tarp.
"Off in the distance, a small cluster of buildings stood erect and undamaged on the sad expanse of the mud flats. Outlined against the afternoon sky, they seemed like tombstones."
Last night, just before the kids went to bed, we watched this video together. I hadn't seen it before but it came highly recommended. I just thought it was important for the kids to have some sense of what was happening at the other end of the world. Most of the weekend, Sebastian's been watching college basketball on tv. Like everyone in the Blacksburg area, we was bummed out that Virginia Tech was not selected for the NCAA Tournament. He was combing through their schedule, trying to figure out how many more games they would have needed to win to make the tournament.
Then the whole family crowded around my laptop. We watched the video. It depicts a fairly large town (city?) being absolutely washed away by the tsunami. We were absolutely stunned. Within six minutes, the town is destroyed. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I wouldn't have thought it possible. We all believed that disasters of biblical proportions just don't happen anymore.