Thursday, 12 February 2009

Victorian Bushfires

By now, I am sure you have heard about the devastating bush fires and subsequent loss of life in Victoria.

A lot of people (even Australians), think that the bush or scrub is disappearing. Having been fortunate enough to fly over quite a bit of Australia, I can state that there is a huge amount of natural bushland out there. Dry and hot conditions, lightning strikes from dry storms and, unfortunately, arsonists, make it inevitable that fires are going to start and someone is going to lose something to fire during an Australian summer.

Yet the scale of this disaster is unheard of. According to the headlines of the Sydney Morning Herald, this is the worst natural disaster that Australia has ever experienced with the toll of dead and wounded only exceeded in wartime.

There are many people raising funds to send to aid the communities affected by the fires. Small communities are rallying and donating the proceeds of their already scheduled events, farmers are sending hay, people from all over are generously donating money direct to the Red Cross (the official destination to send donations to). Even the small, handmade brigade are rallying by donating items - toys, blankets and other little necessities are being sent direct and other things are being auctioned off with the proceeds being donated.

Whatever we do, we can help in some small way - even the longest journey starts with one little step.

If you would like to assist you could visit the Australian Red Cross website. If you are an artisan/craftsman that wants to donate an item or if you can help by buying a donated handmade item, look at Handmade Help (all funds going to the Australian Red Cross and Wildlife Victoria).

True wisdom can create a phrase that can be applicable to many situations. I saw the following on Joliv's Weblog quoting Deepak Chopra:

Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.

For many affected by the fires, how true.

Thankfully we have had a cool change in south-eastern Australia and the fires are being bought under control. Let's hope they can be fully extinguished soon and the recovery can begin.
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