About three days ago amidst the thoughts that race around inside my head there was a moment of quiet. From within the space that opened a thought appeared that felt more like a knowing. It was simple but clear.
“There’s going to be an earthquake”.
I live in Northern California and was raised in Washington state so I’ve been through earthquakes. When I was 3 I remember being in a play pen as it slid across the floor in our living room during an earthquake. Some thirty years later I was sitting in a therapy session when the ground began to roll like molten lava beneath my feet. I’ve had fearful thoughts before about the possibilities of earthquakes. I’ve tried to be mindful in my home of how I place things to avert danger if one should strike. But it’s not something I give much thought to these days, given my other concerns. I haven’t even gone so far as to anchor tall bookshelves, though I think it would be a good idea to do so. But this thought I had, it wasn’t an anxiety thought. It was a knowing.
Over the past couple of years I’ve had several experiences where I’ve suddenly known something that seemed to come from a place I don’t understand. I’ve often felt connected to people who have already passed. On many occasions I’ve felt as if my Mom, who passed away last June, occupies my body. My father was with me in presence for at least a year after his death, but it seems harder for me to find him now that eight years have passed. I’ve sat with patients who have lost loved ones and felt the spirits of their loved ones in the room. I’ve had sudden knowledge of a patient’s husband dying and then looked on the internet and found his obituary. I have a lot of people on the other side now that love and support me unconditionally and I often feel them guiding and supporting me.
So when this earthquake thought came along, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I didn’t tell anyone because I’m really sensitive to other people’s judgment. And often if I feel something intuitively I will go around from person to person seeking validation of my internal truth. And if I don’t receive it, or perceive that I don’t receive it, I judge myself harshly as crazy, psychotic, or otherwise mentally disturbed.
I considered texting the thought to myself so I would have it as evidence if there was an earthquake. I considered writing it in my journal so that I could show it to someone. I didn’t do either of these things because I forgot. A couple of days went by, no earthquake, and the thought slipped to the background of my mind until last night when my partner woke me from a deep sleep somewhere after 3 AM.
“I think we just had an earthquake,” she said, alarmed.
“Really?” I asked, still half asleep. Then immediately I thought of my knowledge earlier in the week. “Could it really have happened?”, I asked myself before falling back asleep. When I awoke later I confirmed via my phone that the earthquake had really occurred. The confirmation of this and my thought early in the week landed with a thud in the center of my belly and has been sitting there since. It’s the same place where my diagnosis of Lyme Disease sits. They are both bits of surreal information about myself that I don’t know how to digest or what to do with.
I immediately began checking the texts I send to myself to see if maybe I had texted my premonition to myself. Nothing. I started looking through scattered random papers I always have lying around to see if I’d written it down somewhere. I wanted to be able to prove to someone that I felt this earthquake coming before it happened. But as providence would have it, There was nothing. I have no way to externally validate to another person that this really happened, not even to you.
I know it happened, and somehow that is going to have to be enough.