Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's Time

“All of us saw our hearts fall
As this city crumbled down
But we continue to stand tall
We’re not leaving this ground

For all the tears that we shed
For all the holes that we’ve filled
We learnt to smile instead
Because it’s time
Because it’s time
To rebuild”

It’s Time – Will Frost

February 22 2011 is a day cemented in New Zealanders. Following the earthquake in September 2010 when, thank goodness, no one was killed, and the continuous aftershocks which continued to rattle Christchurch, there was a thought in the back of New Zealand’s mind there might just be another big one. We hoped and prayed it wouldn’t happen, but it came, and took 185 lives and left a city in ruins. Last week I visited Christchurch to see the damage for myself.  Nearly a year and a half later, the impacts of the earthquake are still staring in your face, and as I wandered through the city and looked at fallen down buildings, vacant houses and a half crumbled Cathedral, I wondered how Christchurch could ever recover.

But as I wandered the city and fought back a few tears, I saw signs of hope around the city. There would be a flower here and there. There were posters along barbed wire which reminded people to be happy and to think positively. As I left the crumbled city centre, I saw a man standing at the edge of the city, playing a harmonica and brightening up a mass of rubble. There are signs of hope for Christchurch away from the city as individuals strive to rebuild the city they call home. Take Sam Johnson, a young man who is inspiring to me and has earned the respect of a country. Sam heads the Student Army and makes sure there are people, young people, to clean up and remove rubbish when more earthquakes hit. Check his work out here: Sam has just started another project; Ministry of Awesome, where he is encouraging people to send in their awesome ideas to help rebuild the city. Check it out: Sam – you thoroughly deserved Young New Zealander of the Year 2012.

And then there are people who give their message through music. It’s Time is a song which Will Frost says is dedicated to the people of Christchurch. He talks about the rebuild and the way in which the people of Christchurch have shouldered the earthquakes and the struggles and come through to the place they are now. It’s Time was written as part of the Festival of Flowers and was themed colour me beautiful Christchurch, creation of new life’. While Will did not win, this song nevertheless shows the ways in which music can be used to bring something, or someone, through to a new life no matter what heartache has been endured. I don’t know if I would be able to withstand Christchurch, the constant shakes and the painfulness of seeing a dark spot where the CBD no longer operates. But through the help of the dedicated and brave Christchurch people, the city has begun to move forward and stand tall and, somehow, learned to smile again.

Kia Kaha, Christchurch. 

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