As I sit here writing this, Australia is burning. Even though today is overcast, I’m looking out the window at a smoke-stained sky, and every sunset tints the world orange.
The sheer size and destructive capabilities of this fire (fires) are beyond comprehension. The footage and imagery coming out of the worst affected areas is devastating. People, animals, property, destroyed in a matter of moments.
Something that’s given me hope in all this chaos is the way that people, normal, everyday people, have dug into their pockets to reach out. Celeste Barber started a GoFundMe with a modest goal and so far has collected over 50 million dollars. Celebrities all over the world have donated. Communities have come together to hold auctions and volunteer their services, all with the aim of helping where they can. It’s heartwarming to see, and I for one hope it continues, because the long term effects of this disaster are just as horrifying as the short term ones.
Somewhere in the middle of all this fire, Christmas and New Year came and went. It seems strange to have the two ideas side by side, and yet they happened that way. One of the many examples of how the world just keeps turning, whether we’re ready for it or not.
I really wanted to open 2020 with a lighthearted post, chatting about books I’m planning and school holiday activities and date nights and relaxing with friends, but it didn’t seem right; not without acknowledging what the rest of the country is currently struggling with. Where we are, we’re safe. My brother in NSW and his little family, also currently safe. Whilst I thank my lucky stars for that every day, I can’t help looking at the smoke-drenched horizon and aching for all those people and families that aren’t safe.
So next time, perhaps, something more lively. Today, heartfelt. Hold your loved ones close, remember that being alive and together is the most important thing, and if you can spare a moment or a dollar to do something for those who are worse off than you, do it.
Together we are strong.