As I was visiting 7 of the 9 stores in the outer Eastern Fabric Frolic yesterday, this poem by Dorothea MacKellar (I think) kept going through my mind. Yesterday was so surreal. I went first to Berwick (I think) to the outer most patchwork store involved in the Frolic out that way, and by the time I arrived there at 10am, it was already 40C! I then headed to Tecoma and on to Warburton. By the time I got to Warburton it was around 45C and it was only mid day. But what really worried me was the wind and the look of the air. I could not help but think that we were in for an absolutely horrible day. And not just heat wise, and I was right.
On the way home an emergency vehicle (CFA) was coming up behind me, lights flashing and travelling at great speed. I kept a close eye on my rear vision mirror, intending to pull over if necessary. I was so thankful that it was not necessary, when the car turned off the highway. 24hours later, that highway was closed to traffic due to bushfire. I completed the frolic, listening to the radio at all times, and the bushfire news was getting worse and worse. By the time I made it to the last of the stores, in my own suburb (she had been a victim of fire at this time last year!), Wandong was on fire and unknown to me, my SIL’s house was under attack. I knew, even without being told, that my nephews, 19 and 21 year olds, and their father were fighting the fires. As I was heading home, I saw a firetruck from a neighbouring suburb heading to another fire, and was so thankful that it appeared not to be near us. But then as I was about to turn in the road heading to my own home, a firetruck also turned into that road. As I followed it, with it’s lights and sirens going, I kept thinking ‘keep going, keep going, it is not us, don’t let it be us’. Fortunately, the Lord was listening and the truck kept going, when I turned into my street. But my relief was short lived, as the fire was just down the road. That fire was relatively quickly under control, with no loss of life or houses.
At the time I am writing this, over 500 houses have been burnt to the ground, with a number of small townships totally gone, and worse, more than 65 lives have been lost. Some of these fires have been deliberately lit, others have been the result of careless accidents, and of course, some are a force of nature. For me, the hardest is trying to understand the need to bring about such death and destruction, where the fire has been deliberately lit. Hanging is too good for those bastards. I hope that they are caught and summarily dealt with!
To everyone out in blog land, please keep our country in your thoughts, and pray for the safety of all the volunteers out there bravely trying to save lives and property. God Bless You all.