I’m originally from Maryland, but I’ve lived in Virginia for the past 17 years. I’m in shock that there was a significant earthquake there today. There was, a couple of years ago, a very small one in Maryland that a lot of people in my area felt. I was awake, rocking Benjamin to sleep, and missed it entirely. From what I understand, this was not something likely to be missed or mistaken for something else.
Now that I’ve made contact with my entire family (either directly, or through someone else) and I know that they’re safe, my mind is splitting in two different directions. The first is shock and concern. Hearing that there was a 6-ish earthquake in Virginia is a little like hearing that all the animals escaped from the zoo and took a stroll down main street: both are, obviously, possible, but not something you really ever expect to see. Virginians don’t expect to see earthquakes, let alone strong ones, so I worry that construction isn’t up to it. I hope that injuries are minimal and few.
The second part of me is jealous. (Yes, jealous.) It’s not so much that I have I never felt an earthquake, but that I just missed out on a shared experience for the rest of my family and friends. In the sense of common memory, I just became an “other”. “Remember that earthquake?” No, I was in Austria. I’m a “Virginia Earthquake” outsider. I feel like I missed out.