Monday, February 09, 2009

In Mourning.

Here are photos I posted last year after a trip to Victoria and a drive home through the lovely towns of Healesville and Marysville and surrounding beautiful countryside.

As you all now know, following the most devastating fires in Australia's history, the township of Marysville has been at least 90% destroyed, and all the countryside in these photos is now a blackened vista of Hell.

My heart breaks for the thousands of people who have lost loved family members, friends, neighbours, homes, businesses and stock throughout Victoria. One cannot begin to imagine the horrors these folk have already endured and will continue to suffer in the weeks ahead. (The death toll tonight is 131, but that is expected to rise to over 200 as many people are still unaccounted for .)

Nor can one comprehend the sick obsession that sees people deliberately light fires, and in some cases then 'pretend' to help extinguish them, but not before they have brought death and destruction on an unimagineable scale.

But let's not forget the incredible courage and fortitude shown by so many firefighters, who put themselves at great personal risk in order to save people and property. They really are a special breed.

What has happened to my beloved Victoria? The countryside will regenerate, towns like Kinglake, Marysville and others will be rebuilt (they have in the past), and even the forests will regrow, but I fear that many people may never quite recover from this tragedy. Our thoughts, our prayers and our tears are all on your behalf.


Annie in Austin said...

Hi Alice,

Your country has been on our minds and so have you. Thank you so much for posting so we know you're okay, and for reminding us of the heroism and courage of the Australian people in the middle of a sad and terrifying story.

It's got to seem strange knowing that your fun tourist pictures are a kind of historical record of the lost town, a memory enshrined on your blog.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kerri said...

As soon as I read of the tragedy at Marysville I thought of the post you did about that beautiful village and Healesville. It's difficult to comprehend the horror so many have gone through during these past few days. The courageous firefighters have been on my mind and in my prayers, along with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.
And up north they're dealing with such devastating amounts of rain!
My heart aches for my beautiful birth country.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see that you are okay and I went back to look at the photos with bitter-sweet feelings. How beautiful! And to know that it can all be gone in a moment because of some sick bastard. I know that I worked for 20 something years with the mentally ill and I DO have a great deal of compassion, but today my heart is sick with horror and anger and the people responsible for this devastation are bastards. Sorry, you may edit out my ‘anger!’
Please continue to be safe, and since I have started a new antidepressant, perhaps I can stay in touch with you better soon. Say a little prayer for me. :-)

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Dear Frances.....
John and I have watched in horror as the shocking pictures on TV news reveal the devastation that is raging through your beloved part of Australia. It is difficult to realise that the pictures we are seeing now of ‘hell in all its fury’ are the same beautiful scenes you wrote about and included in your post ‘Heading North’ last year.

It is indeed heartbreaking to read of the tragedies resulting from this inferno, so many lives lost, homes destroyed, animals, birds and beautiful bushland turned to ash....... Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are suffering and the brave people who are fighting in scorching temperatures to stop it all. Stay safe. Marion

meggie said...

Those photos show just how devastated the area is now.
Too sad.

Rosemary said...

So sorry for the devastation your country has endured.
My thoughts are with you. Take care!

Tamara said...

Alice, you have posted a beautiful prayer and tribute. Your photo's do indeed remind us of natures beauty, and our memories serve to remind us that the bush will regrow. Sadly, many lives were lost, and many people have experienced great pain. All we can do is pray and make our support in practical ways. again thankyou for this post, and the link to the photos.