Black Saturday had a silver lining

By: Kirsty

Feb 05 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Black Saturday, Daily Photos, extraordinary things


Focal Length:70mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS-1D Mark II

On the way home

returning to the Yarra Valley –  9th February 2009

This Sunday (7th February) is the anniversary of the Victorian bush fires. It was an event changed the life of pretty much everyone who lives around here. We all know someone who lost a home, lost someone they loved, or lost their life. There will be a barrage of emotional rhetoric and sentimental speeches over the next couple of days. No need for me to add to all that. I do, however, want to pause and acknowledge the anniversary.

For 4 weeks after the initial fires we remained evacuated from our home, uncertain of the progress of the fire that was still burning nearby, and advised each day not to return. This experience was the beginning of a huge letting go for me. It was the catalyst for a complete overhaul of my life. Since then I have left the rental home we were living in, given away or sold most of my possessions, put the rest in storage, and embraced the possibility that art could be the mainstay of my life and not a peripheral ‘self indulgence’. Those fires taught me, and everyone around me, what really matters. For that uncertain month it was like another planet here. People made eye contact when they met in the street. Hearts opened. Differences became unimportant. We were all in the same boat and, very simply, we helped each other. Anyone living in Healesville, Warburton and other local towns under threat from the fires will be able to tell you what an extraordinary experience that was. It may be politically incorrect to say so, but there was great beauty in it. We were canaries in the coal mine, and we had the privilege of seeing, for the most part, what is highest in humanity. What being cracked open and vulnerable can reveal. The extraordinary depths of the human heart.

4 comments on “Black Saturday had a silver lining”

  1. if there were a like button. I would now click it

  2. One of my favorites lines in the movie “Starman” was when the alien told the lady that he had learned that people were at their best when things seemed the worse. I like that he said that, but have always wondered why many don’t carry that carry it forward. You are proof of that. Turning misfortune into something that can sprout something new.
    Beautiful landscape photo, Kirsty!

  3. It is an old movie with Jeff Bridges.

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