Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Just 50 km away from home, nestled in the Yarra Valley is Healesville, one of the places where I go to teach beading. On Saturday evening, there was news of a catastrophic bushfire in the area and since then the unfolding news has shown scenes of such horror that it is almost beyond words.
The toll of human life lost in the ferocious fire storm which overtook the idyllic towns has risen to 180 and is expected to go to more than 200 as the police, army and fire authorities search for bodies among the rubble.
Understandably, my class on Monday was postponed until next week. I surely did not wish to drive up to Healesville which was up until today still in a state of ready alert in case the wind caused the fires to turn towards that township again.
Our Bead Society has several members in the fire area and some, I know, are fine although they have their cars packed and ready to flee if necessary. Others I haven't yet been able to contact. One lady was to attend her first meeting on Sunday, but didn't arrive. It wasn't until I was re-reading her email that I realised she came from Dixon's Creek, which is not far from one of the worst hit areas. I hope she is OK and will be able to come and meet with us some other time.
Friends of friends have lost houses, or family members in the fires and there are many miraculous escapes being reported. One family lost their grandparents, who had been estranged from one son for many years. Now they will never have the chance to repair the breach. We all need to make the most of every minute and make sure that we don't lose the chance to show our families how much we love them when we can.
Sorry to be a little morbid, but it is hard to watch such grief unfolding without being a little affected.