fire rake prepared and ready to go

Ready to go

fire rake prepared and ready to go

Talk about one easy way to do your head in!

This weekend just gone was not nice.  At all.

High temperatures forecast.

And the wind.  The wind was horrible.

To top it all off this weekend of terrible weather happened to fall on the 5th anniversary of Black Saturday – one of the worst disasters ever.

Country living is fickle.

There are all of the beautiful parts – the slower (well, not really) lifestyle, the connection with nature and surroundings, the connections with the people who live in your community.  Mostly good things.

But the flip side to that is that nature takes such a priority in many of the decisions that you make.

Earlier during the week I watched online as many friends over the other side of the state dealt with rip roaring winds – winds that destroyed their built objects as well as fruit trees, gardens and their landscapes.  I watched talk of having to get back up and do it all again.

Was it worth it?

Within the first 6 months of us moving out of the city we dealt with a terrible ski season (remembering that we live near a ski hill and much of our town’s economy at that time relied on “snow money”), water restrictions and drought and then a fire.

A fire that hung around for nearly 3 months.  Was just there in the background for the most part but overshadowed everything that we did and most of the decisions that were made.

Smoke.  Lots of it.

Fear.

Indecision – should we stay?  Should we be leaving?  Are we safe?  Am I doing the right thing? Am I ready to go?

Fortunately most of our community came through unscathed.

Certainly not all of it though – friends lost their house.  Stock was lost.  Lives tipped upside down.  Our nearly four year old at the time wouldn’t look at a book that depicted fire in any way.  Not a great start to her kinder year.

Was it worth it?

In a word – yes.  That time was the tipping point for our long term decision to live here permanently.

Our community shone.

The hand on the shoulder in the supermarket.

The silent look to check if you were coping.

The helping hand to those who had lost possessions.

Then three years later it happened again.

We were on the edge of the Black Saturday fires.  Not close enough (thank goodness) to have the horrible losses but near enough to be affected.

Our community was there.  The emergency services personnel.  The door knockers. The caterers.  The carers.  The helpers.  The people who went in afterwards to help.

I struggled then.  I didn’t think that I would but the close proximity (although further away than the first fires) really got to me.  The connections. The smoke.  The fire engines in town.  The constant updates and radio chatter.

Our kids who knew so much more and who asked so many more questions. Who came home from school knowing things that I didn’t ever want them to know.

It took me a long time to be able to leave town.  I was scared of what I would see.  Or not see.  I remember the tears streaming down my face as I drove past the fire damage the first time.

So this weekend we prepared. And waited. Ready to go.

We were lucky.

Many others weren’t.  Many others are still in the midst of it right now.

And next time?

I’m not sure.

Smoky outlook

 

I have hooked up for a Tuesday blog session with Essentially Jess.