It’s odd lying here staring at the ceiling unsure if it’s the last night you’ll ever spend in this room, in this house.
The threat of the fire has been lingering for months now, but this is the first time I’ve actively started planning what to take.
The fire predicted spread map puts it square into 5km stretch of thick mostly inaccessible hills and bush land leading up to our house. That’s a less than ideal situation for our old vinyl clad cottage, a terrifying one for friends furry along the road and closer to the flames.
We stamped out our fair share of embers back in the January 2003 fires that rampaged through Canberra as birds fell down dead from the midnight sky at 2pm. Jumping on Charred and glowing eucalyptus leaves on the lawn as the hose barely dribbled under the pressure of 10’s of thousands of people trying to use the water at the same time.
I forget a lot of things, but I’ve never forgotten that day.
17 years later and we have given up our lawn for the Great Australian Bush, we knew the risks moving here but they’ve always seemed worth it, the peace and quiet, the kangaroos.
But we can’t step out embers on 100acres of bush, a drought ravaged landscape and a nearly empty dam doesn’t offer much more water than those hoses did back in ‘03.
It’s gotten bad, real bad.
I feel like the media has made the word “unprecedented” almost as intolerable as reality TV made the word “journey”. It’s been going on for so long now that the news cycle must be struggling to keep it relevant. 24hr crisis’s is all the modern world has time for, yet this disaster drags on in an “unprecedented” fashion.
World war three looms ominously in the background but we can barely notice because our country is still burning, war seems so ridiculous right now, so man made, something 100% intentional and self inflicted, so God damn pointless. Images of exhausted emergency services personnel and broken communities splashed across news stories are already our new normal, at least we’ll have nothing left to lose.
God knows what the clean up will bring, when the cameras and journalists go home and all that’s left is devastation and charred memories.
How do you re-build a country?