In Tokyo, 150 miles away, we fled our homes and workplaces in panic to witness helplessly on tiny cellphone screens as the massive tsunami swallowed up entire villages. Ultimately, 16,000 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Although my home had suffered only minor cracks, I feared going back inside for days as the aftershocks continued. As anyone who’s experienced a large earthquake knows, you cease trusting the ground beneath your feet. You want to run far away to escape what’s happened, but eventually—if you’re fortunate enough to survive—you must return to face the damage and start picking up the pieces of your life.