I extend a huge thank you to firefighters, emergency and essential services, and volunteers for your dedication and courage over an extended period of time to help our communities, including my own. Since September last year various parts of Australia has been affected by bushfires of vastness and intensity never before experienced; now floods, hailstones - and communities rallied. Months ago the world looked at Australia and what was happening to its people, animals, plants, waterways and offered support and practical assistance - for that, thank you to you also.
Many stories are being told of tragedy, fear, that sliver of hope realised, tenderness, and even laughter and joyful moments in the midst of despair. Thoughts of a Black Summer, the summer that wasn’t, circulate and press upon memory. All have a story of impact. Some seek solitude to work out what to do next when everything seems lost or changed; others write, paint, listen to or play music or sing; some people garden - tilling the soil in one's own yard, or replanting for the future. While for others being involved with community assistance groups such as Blazeaid, and sewing pouches for animal rescue is what matters and gives purpose once again.
Emotions raw of survival, of loss, of friendship and community, of a future unknown, of counting your blessings – I hope that everyone is getting the support and comfort in ways that will help you, your loved ones, friends, and community.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty coping the following support services are recommended by https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/bushfire : Lifeline Bushfire Helpline | 13 43 57; MensLine Australia | 1300 789 978; Beyond Blue | 1300 224 636; GriefLine | 1300 845 745
https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au - for practical information.