A FIREBURNT AUSTRALIA

Dearest Reader,
The past three days have been spent glued to the same spot on my couch.

Although I would like to claim it’s from pure laziness after a rather stressful couple of days, I have found myself sinking into my couch spot. Its often in horror with a hand clasped across my face and fighting back tears as I am informed of another, yet again, Australian community experiencing the heartache and loss caused by these damaging fires.

There’s been times of where I haven’t been able to sleep and as a result, I’ve scanned countless social media pages for updates and have been informed from international news stations of these fires having suddenly occurred, the fire is unsalvageable and has burnt millions of hectares (the last part is actually correct). However, I’ve come to notice no one has stated these fires have been ravaging the east coastline of Australia since last year because they were considered a ‘spot fire’.

As Australians, it has truly been a devastating time for us all as a nation, individuals and as a community.

I have watched as my great nation has tried valiantly to stand erected and not fall into a huddled heap onto the floor. As those who’ve been interviewed, report of the fires tearing greedily across three of our six states and territories and leaving behind the destruction of what was formerly known as a community.

Having always been someone who loves a ‘sunburnt country’ as to quote Dorothea Mackellar and her world famous poem, I don’t think Dorothea would’ve had the inclination of this being possible. The idea of a beloved country made up of various shades of browns, taupes and burnt oranges would now resemble something from the United States, who are currently experiencing a blanketing of snow and sleet and the various countries around the world who are complaining of having copious amounts of rain.

The one thing that truly resonates with us Australians and its, whether we live on the furthest tip of the east coast to the lowest point on the west coast, we as a nation have been tuning in on an hourly or daily basis, to find out what’s been happening. It’s during this hour long slot of news, we are confronted with the harrowing moving pictures of what were known as family homes and are now being associated as being burnt, smouldering piles of ash with bits of tin roof poking out. Or the half empty carcases of brick houses remaining on the foundation of white ash land.

As a means and forms of coping with what we see on a daily basis, we find comfort in taking the mickey out of the reporters for wearing their brand new high vis, media imprinted fire suits. As they stumble across the debris strewn lands like a newborn foal and appear like they’re giving a ‘helping hand to combat the fires’.

While it may appear heartless and cold, it’s a means of coping with the confronting images of houses standing still as the fire blazes behind it.

merlin_166512498_9cb4014c-4c33-42e2-b979-a11b25a17d14-superJumbo
photo via Matthew Abbott, The New York Times

Or the photo that’s made headlines around the world of a kangroo bounding past the burning resemblance of what was once upon a time, someone’s family home.

merlin_166536642_24b1e96c-327a-4b9c-9979-f87ed8a0b502-superJumbo
photo via Matthew Abbott, The New York Times

It’s also a means of learning to come to terms with yet another, heartfelt loss of a fellow Australian losing their lives; while, we as a nation pay attention to what’s not being reported in the background.

The vast emptiness with flickers of sheer horror, utmost loss and confusion swirling around in people’s eyes and faces that we Australians, as a nation, watch these incredible people in silence. Long forgotten are the comments of reporters and their swanky outfits and instead, a silence fills our homes, hearts and our nation as we watch the scenes unfolding us. It’s during this time, we reach out for a hand to be grasped and let out a shuddering breath.

While I am fortunate to be living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and although, my community has been savaged with deliberately lit fires and the feeling of being stuck and scared; I simply cannot fathom what it would be like to live day in and day out on adrenaline and the ever present voice telling you, ‘this is it, mate!’

As a Queenslander and forever, an Australian, my family and I have been spending these past days, worrying and stressing about the safety of our fellow citizens, those brave men and women who have signed up to fighting on the front lines of what’s been dubbed as ‘apocalyptic fires of mass proportions’ and the wildlife of Australia. Most importantly, my immediate family alongside Mr. Darcy and myself have been thinking about those displaced by the fires and those, who’ve lost loved ones during this time because of the ferocity of the fires.

For those who are reading this outside of Australia, I believe today is a clear depiction of why Australians are dubbed as being ‘Little Aussie Battlers’.

So, whether you’re Australian in blood or within heart, I ask you keep us within your prayers, blessings and thoughts by bringing awareness of how Australia is currently struggling. If you would like to donate but don’t know where to go, here’s how you can donate: 

WWF: Save the Koalas

NSW Rural Fire Services

RSPCA NSW Bushfire Appeal

Salvation Army: Diaster Appeal

WIRES: Wildlife Rescue Assistance

Australian Red Cross

South Australian Country Fire Service: https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate
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https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteers

Lastly….

To my fellow Australians, who are currently experiencing these horrendous fires or are in the midst of packing their belongings before fleeing for their lives, please know as a country that WE see and hear you!

If there has been reports of fires coming towards you, please, please, please I beg of you, do not think you are invincible and should stay behind to fight for your home. Although, your home can be rebuilt and new memories fill those walls and rafters, you and your loved ones cannot be recreated and birthed. Please listen to the fire broadcasts and get out when you can.

Australia loves you and you are not alone.

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