It was seven-thirty this morning that the earthquake hit. My bed shook for a full thirty seconds, the dog across the road began to bark, my book fell from the bedside cabinet to the floor and there was an ominous rumble from the road outside the house.
“Earthquake! Earthquake!” I shouted leaping out of bed whilst my wife just looked up at me shaking her head in erstwhile disbelief.
Apparently it wasn’t an earthquake at all, just the huge levelling machine that they are ‘doing’ our road with. Yes, the ‘doing’ of our road continues well over a year since the ‘doing’ commenced.
It’s nearly finished now, just another week or so, hence the appearance of the great leveller. The great leveller is a huge machine which scrapes away the surface of the road, removing all the bumps and lumps, potholes and patches, making the surface smooth and flat ready for the new road to be laid.
The appearance of the great leveller, like an earthquake ready to destroy and flatten everything in its path and sparing nobody, got me thinking about the other great levellers in all of our lives. You know the type of thing I mean. Those things that no matter how rich and powerful you are, what car you drive, who your parents were, how much you know, where you live, hit us all at times like an earthquake leaving the great leveller to come along and flatten us all regardless. Making us smooth and ready to face whatever new road is about to be laid.
Death, illness, loss of a pet, losing your job, the break up of a long relationship; they are all great levellers, bringing us all to the same place, giving us each a common understanding of some other’s situation. Of course there will be differences, different strengths of earthquake, more or less damage, different types of road – wider, narrower, shorter, longer, motorways, ‘A’ roads, ‘B’ roads, tracks – but broadly they are all pretty much the same, shared experiences that help us to understand each others situation, making us humbler than before.
All we have to do is survive the great leveller and try the new road. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be different from the old one.