Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three Years Ago Today

On this very day, three years ago, Victoria was in shock.  Australia was in shock.  I think the world was in shock.  Some of the most beautiful parts of our state were burnt to the ground.  173 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.  Over 2000 homes were destroyed and countless other losses were recorded.

I can still remember that day as if it were today.  The eerie atmosphere outside, the intense heat - it was well over 40 degrees celsius - mixed with a heavy looking sky made for a very strange feeling.  We had the house closed up all day, trying to keep the heat out.  So when I ventured to the local shop late afternoon, I was puzzled with the sky.  I had no idea.

The images on television later that evening will stay with me forever.  The fear and pain was obvious in people's eyes.  And the full "story" was only just unfolding.

One of the hardest hit towns was Kinglake.  To say I was relieved that my Father-in-law and his wife had only settled on their land up there and not yet built is an understatement.  It could have been a very different story for our family if that weren't the case.  

My In-law's block of land after the fires....
* Photo thanks to Allan G.
Each time we drive the hour to visit them, we travel the same roads that wind around the mountains.  We have watched the trees go from blackened sticks on hillsides, to lush green landscapes.  Looks can be deceiving.  There are still temporary accommodation buildings in Kinglake.  Some have not been able to re-build.  Or are just not ready to commit yet.  It is a constant reminder that things will never be the same.

Kinglake Spring 2010 - Nature is strange.
* Photo thanks to Allan G.
So today, my thoughts are with all of those affected by the Black Saturday fires.  May you find some peace in knowing that you are remembered.

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