Tuesday, February 10, 2009

thoughtful tuesday

I'm in a strange place at the moment. I'm around 1000 kilometres from my mum, step-dad and brother who live on 6.5 acres of bushland, right near the bushfires in Victoria. Houses have been lost at the end of their street (admittedly a very long street of about 7.5 kilometres, but still, that's too close). I'm trying to concentrate and work but am thinking about their safety, wishing that their "tree-change" were actually a "sea-change" so they could live somewhere safer, without the imminent threat to their lives and their home. I've been doing lots of calling to check their safety, and fielding calls from friends and family who've tried to get through, but found the phone lines busy. Normally an engaged signal is a minor annoyance, but when you know that catastrophic bushfires are nearby it sets the adrenaline pumping in the most horrid way.

At least they're safe. Close friends of theirs, the dearest, sweetest people you could ever meet, are waiting to hear the bad news about their daughter, her partner and other family members who lived in Kinglake - one of the worst affected areas. The death count's still rising and it could take weeks for positive identification. My heart and prayers are with them, and everyone who's experienced loss in these fires.

The worst part is that some fires were deliberately lit, while others were the result of a flaming cigarette being flung from a window. Obviously I have no concept of what goes on in the deranged mind of a pyromaniac - nor do I want to - but who throws a lit cigarette out a window any time, let alone in 46 degree heat? That's not ignorance, that's willful stupidity. They will be found, and they will be charged, but the lives, human and animal, the loss of homes and priceless memories, along with the nightmares so many will continue to experience, cannot be salved with a gaol-term. 

The only positive is lift it's giving the human spirit. Cash donations are pouring in, people are desperate to help, and the town's will be rebuilt with vigour. The Aussie battling spirit is at its best in times of crisis - let's hope it continues even when times are good.


  1. I empathize. Where my mother lives, there are near yearly wildfires in the surrounding forests and grasslands. It's both nature and human stupidity that causes these yearly.

  2. Nature I can deal with, it's the humans that make my blood boil.


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