Oct 29, 2013

Of bushfires and homes

The air today is a stark reminder of the dangers of living in Australia - the smell of smoke is in the air and visibility is limited to a kilometre ahead.

The Australian bush is built to burn, and despite all man's best efforts, Nature does what Nature is inclined to do. In the past weeks, bushfires have brought to light incredible volunteerism and what it means to be a community. It has also reminded everyone, particularly those living in bushland suburbs, that the people evacuating and fire fighting, and yes, those now homeless, ...they could be you.

A house is not about the brick and mortar, it is all about the stuff you can't keep in a bottle. The stain from marker on the walls that linger after your children enter teenage-hood; the extension that you saved years for to do; the laughter over Christmas dinners that echoed off the walls; they are  little daily reminders of our struggles and triumphs.

I cried when I had to sell my house in Malaysia. We bought the house new from developer so everything had our fingerprints. I fingered the mural we had painted in the kids' room, and I looked at the kitchen that I designed and all the fixtures and fittings we had picked out and put in, and the garden we tended, and I wanted to bring all that with me to Australia.

To have your home and everything in it burnt to ashes? I can't imagine the horror.

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