It is hot, hot, hot in Tasmania, and it seems as if half the state is on fire. We are well protected in our lovely city suburb, but the sky is a smoky haze. Down the south of the state an entire peninsula has been cut off by the fires, its narrow neck with only one road, burnt out, entire little towns burning, no electricity, people being evacuated from the beaches like Dunkirk.
A dear Blueday reader, e, who writes a lovely blog from Hobart about her garden and her cooking, has parents in one of those little burnt out towns, thankfully safe, their home intact but covered in the ashes of a community that has all but disappeared.
Here are photos of e's parents' garden, taken a few days ago on her Christmas holiday. This is what my garden wants to be when it grows up. It is such a labour of love by a life-long gardener. Every line of this post reads like a pastoral idyll. Two days later, and their neighbourhood now looks like this.
It is just heartbreaking to think of all those homes lost. Gardens, animals, hundred-year-old houses, all gone, only memories. I packed away Christmas today - tree, decorations, cards - and every Christmas decoration has a story, a memory. And I realised that every 'thing' that I own that is truly valuable to me, is important because of its story, the person who made it, or gave it, that the place I found it, or bought it, is what makes it special. I know it is just 'stuff', but it is special 'stuff', and I am so grateful that my garden, my house, my stuff, is still all around me, that my children have a school to go to, and that I have lovely electricity, and don't have to start again tomorrow from nothing.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the comfort and security of our lives can be snuffed out between one day and the next. Right now, I am just incredibly grateful for every single happy moment.
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (13). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much.. and now extra frugal adventures with Partner Paul..