Monday, February 9, 2009

A sombre 100th post


This is my 100th post, but I'm not feeling in a celebratory mood. As many of you know, Victoria, the state of Australia I live in, has been and continues to be ravaged by bushfires. A staggering 131 people have died and there is no doubt the toll will rise.

It's the worst natural disaster in Australia's history. Whole towns have been wiped off the map, hundreds of thousands of hectares of land is blackened, and thousands of people are homeless and traumatised. It's shocking, gruesome and heartbreaking...and it's far from over.

I normally write about the simple pleasures that add the texture to life, but at times like this, it's impossible not to reflect on the big picture and and to be grateful for the things that really matter - being alive and well, having people to love, being safe and secure and having a roof over your head.

My heart goes out to all those people who have lost their loved ones, their homes, their communities and livelihoods.

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Of course I am also very pleased you have all continued to drop in to read my ramblings and share your own gleeful moments. Thank you.

11 comments:

Abbeysmum said...

As the toll rises and you talk to people over the next few weeks, there will be a connection with the ones who have suffered....someone's Aunt,friend, old neighbour etc. a few degrees of separation.
I will light some candles and offer prayers of thanks, help and support for all those affected and spared.
Those of us who are not harmed by this disaster can connect by giving a donation.

victoria said...

it certainly makes me appreciate all that i have...

...and the fact that life can change forever in an instant.

((hugs))

The Infamous Mrs. BlueBalls said...

We've been through some really bad wildfires ourselves in the past few years. In 2003 we lost a business and it was never rebuilt. We had to evacuate in 2003 and in 2007. It's scary stuff. My heart goes out to everyone in the midst of that. Its horrible leaving your home and not knowing if it will be there when you get back.

dam buster said...

Jayne, there will be stories of amazing survival and escapes in all of this. Like the elderly couple found ok in their home in gippsland. Everyone assumed they had been evacuated but no one could find them, then they popped out to say hello to the firefighters.

Barbara Swafford said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Australia. This disaster has been horrific.

It's good knowing you're safe.

Blessings to you and yours.

Frisky Librarian said...

Hey Abbeysmum. Already the few degrees of separation thing is kicking in, which really brings it home to you. It will be a rare person down here who doesn't know someone who's been affected, or know of someone. Thankfully, the few people I know in those areas or with family there, are all safe at this stage.

Hi Victoria. Absolutely. Events like this really do underscore the fragility of life.

Hey Mrs Blueballs. Wow, you've been through a lot. Thankfully, although I grew up in the country and there were some grass fires in the area each summer, I've never experienced the horror of bushfire.

Hey db. Yes, there are always amazing stories of survival in natural disasters. Hopefully there will be more...but it looks grim.

Thank you Barbara. Sadly, it is going to get worse...

Jayne said...

The cleaning and rebuilding will keep everyone busy but once they have nothing to do it will hit them just as hard all over again.

Julian said...

Very well said. I know I can only imagine what it must be like for all those people...

Small Footprints said...

My thoughts are with you and everyone in Victoria. It is an unbelievable tragedy.

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Fantastic Forrest said...

I'm so sorry to read this news. It does make one thankful for their own safety and that of the people they love.

I know we've had more than our share of wildfires south of us in California, but the death tolls have been tiny in comparison to those in Australia.

Frisky Librarian said...

Hey Jayne. Sadly, I think you are right. There are going to be some seriously tough times ahead for a lot of people.

Thanks Julian. I don't think I can even imagine.

Thank you small footprints.

FF, yes, the number of people who have perished is unprecedented for a peace time in Australia. Even one life lost to a bushfire is a tragedy. The previous worst fire disaster in Australia claimed the lives of 71 people, which is horrific enough. The final number of those who died still isn't known. It's up to 200 now, but the task of recovering and identifying bodies continues and it's painstaking. Sometimes I still find myself thinking, "I can't believe this has happened".