Monday, July 27, 2009

A Tragedy in the Healing

On Sunday the other half and I drove into across the Yarra Valley and up into the Goulburn Valley. In stark contrast to most of the weather recently, it was a bright sunny day. Not warm because of a cold wind, but it lifts the spirits to see the sun.

We took a slight detour to get a few photos of the Yarra valley up past Yarra Glen. We have had quite a bit of damp weather lately so it is very green at the moment, you would never guess we are in the midst of years of drought.

We then drove up into the Goulburn Valley, like the Yarra it is very green at the moment.

This photo shows some typical "bush" mailboxes with a nice backdrop.

On the way home we went via a little place called Kinglake. Kinglake has been very much in the news since February, unfortunately for unhappy reasons. In the Black Saturday Bushfires on the 7th of this February past 96% of the homes in Kinglake were destroyed. Of the State’s 173 fatalities on that day, 42 were in Kinglake, a lot of people gone from a town that had a population of less than 1500.

We have been to Kinglake before but this was the first time since the fire that destroyed it. It is distressing to drive through a place you know to find it all but destroyed. We were both deeply touched by the experience.

In spite of it all, many of the people of Kinglake are still there, beginning to rebuild their homes and their lives. The Aussie flag was displayed in many places throughout the ruins. Here in Oz we do not often display the flag as individuals, I think in Kinglake it is being used as a sign of community, of mateship and of pride. I think the Kinglake community are using it as a symbol of their determination to not be beaten by the worst.

I did not take any photographs in the town, that would have felt like intrusion, even desecration. We did stop a few kilometres away on the Whittlesea road to take a few photos of the devastation left by the fire. Here are just a couple.

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