We remember

February 8, 2011

Two years to the day after the horror of the Victorian bushfires, people in Melbourne as well as the communities ravaged by the blaze are remembering the losses and honoring the dead. 173 people lost their lives on Black Saturday making them the deadliest fires in Australian history. In Kinglake just a couple of kilometers southwest from our farm in Glenburn 42 people were killed.

If you drive through the area today you might not any longer notice the devastation. Nature has reclaimed it’s “green colour” and the vegetation seems to be unscarred. Only on some stretches along the Melba Highway one can still witness the scars the fires have left behind.

The scars in peoples hearts and minds, however, do not heal that quickly. They are still there. It is important to remember. The floods in Queensland and the bush fires around Perth may also remind us of the dangers and how quickly our “normality” can turn into mayhem.

Time of reflection. I admire the people who have rebuilt their lives and moved on after such calamity. I guess one never really recovers from the loss of close family members, women and children and husbands perished in the fires.

I wonder how many people in our community have now better emergency plans in place. How many are really prepared for the next calamity?

We were lucky. Only a meter from the backside of our shed (in the photo below) was the fire stopped. Where there is green grass now, the soil was charred and blackend. We are forever thankful that the shed was saved.

Our shed – it looks so peaceful

Fire, fire, everywhere

February 8, 2009

Goodness me, after the heatwave came the fire and with it death and destruction. In short, it got really bad in rural Victoria. The current bushfires are the worst in Australian history. The fires have claimed about 84 lives (and the numbers are rising) and more than 700 homes so far, according to the news. Kinglake, just a couple of kilometres from Glenburn is completely destroyed. Some say, the same fate happened to Glenburn. The pictures on the websites are awful so are the videos. The testimonies of people show them devastated after the tragic loss of life and property.

We’ve been calling family and friends. So far so good. Let us hope for the best. Hope dies last.

I am feeling so stupid right now here in Bangkok, so stupid, unbelievable. Helpless, completely helpless. There is a song for this. Watch Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with Joni Mitchell: