Felt it.

I was at John and Elizabeth's (and Sadie's) house on Wednesday night when the earthquake came. It was a 4.70, centred on Santa Rosa, about 40 miles north of San Francisco.

Being my first, I didn't recognise the rumbling tremble. It recalled to me my old house in Adelaide, where the back fence was right on a major railway track. When the huge goods trains would come from Melbourne on the weekends, the ground and my glassware shimmied.

We were eating dinner at the time, and I think I sat there for about 30 seconds with my dawg with kraut and mustard in hand.

Elizabeth told John to check on Sadie (who was fast asleep), and advised me that if there was another shake, I should get under something solid, like a door frame or some such. I began scoping the ideal position, just in case.

Before the quake, I had had a proper go of Sadie. She's just 2 months old now, and when I was holding her, she smiled at me. Quite a lot. I sang a bit, and jiggled a bit, rocked a bit, and bounced a bit. She seemed content, and her parents claimed she'd found a new friend.

She got me wondering about what it is that makes us love babies so much. Given my current state of mind*, I decided that it's because babies (like pets) are incapable of either self-deprecation or passing judgement on others. This openness and innocence is what makes babies desirable company. Perhaps that's also part of what's so attractive in one young-at-heart later in life — that simplicity and joie de vivre is something I wish for... (And of course, they're often unbearably cute as well. I'm often compelled to snoodgle.)

Lucky things.

* Trouble is, I often find myself afraid of participating for fear of error, scrutiny or perhaps even the revelation that actually, there's no trouble. The trouble with that is that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. That stupid safety net. Or is it safety belt?