Friday, February 13, 2009


There's a poisonous pink sunrise this morning - the sun's coming up behind the smoke that's spread across the sky from the Yarra Valley, a few miles away.
It's very still.
No wind is a good wind, right?
Usually when there are bushfires you hope for a change in the wind - this time we know that's a profoundly selfish hope, because these fires are so entangled around communities that one person's longed-for wind change is another's deepest dread.
Healesville is back on high alert. Yarck is just in purgatory. Like so many others.
And so it goes on...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No words

The hiatus on this blog has been due to the illness and then death of my lovely, talented, loving, fiercely intelligent, gorgeous mother-in-law.
We were in New Zealand with the family for a few weeks and arrived back in Melbourne to a heatwave followed by an inferno.
So far we are safe although I confess my bushfire preparation this year has been half-hearted, and I've been forced to reconsider our fire plan, which is to stay and defend.
Having been through it before, in Bundeena, I felt confident I could save the house if required, but I now know I couldn't have.
Not this fire.
It moved faster and more fiercely than anyone has ever seen, so everything you thought you knew about fires, and houses, and yourself, is cast into doubt.
I don't know what would have happened to us if the wind hadn't changed - as it is, it has pushed the other edge of what is now one enormous fire towards my other place, my spiritual home, in the country near Yarck.
They are on high alert there now, with spot fires in the area.
There's nothing I can do but wait and act like I'm interested in work and the rest of the world while sick to the stomach and exhausted from checking the fire info services in the middle of the night.
And so many others are so - so - much worse off.
We are all affected somehow, everyone is waiting for news of people or places they love, and those who are not affected now will be, I'm sure in the coming days or weeks or months as we learn to live with it all.
But as Julia says, it's beyond words, so I'll shut up.
(Cross-posted on Bush Backyard)