The colours in Australia at the moment are not blue.
There’s black images everywhere of the burnt out remains of over 1000 houses.
There’s intense orange through red images of fires that appear nightly on our news, our internet pages etc.
There’s the thick grey of smoke.
There’s yellow brushed with charcoal of community firefighter uniforms.
There’s other colours too… like those that match terror, loss, heartbreak, as well as generosity and humanity.
When the firestorm first came I watched the news, as I do often to understand what was happening in the world. After special news bulletins entirely dedicated to the fires, other stories would come on… including the floods in the North. If only one could transport the unwanted water from those homes to the south.
I’ve stopped watching the news. I’ve heard enough to feel sadness at the loss of life – both human, animal and vegetation.
I remember going on a school camp to Bundeena after fires and being struck by how the bush springs back to life. While I’m not the science one in the family, I know enough to appreciate that some plants need the fire to germinate… yet the devastation is immense.
It is interesting to go to work at the moment. There is no question that within the Organisation – a not for profit / charity – there is an ernomous amount of empathy. Stories appear daily on our intranet – including those of staff members who have been personally affected.
There is an anger when we hear stories of bogus charities raising money (even one scam does damage to all charities – organisations built upon community trust).
And to be honest, there is an under-current of concern. I’ve been reading many articles about the impact the economic crisis has had upon charities this financial year. While no one would begrudge the dollars pouring in to the bushfire appeals – there is a very real question of not if, but how much the economy and now the diversion of much of the charity dollar to an horrific natural disaster, will impact. For months now the Organisation has been making savings in all support departments to ensure no client service is cut. One starts to wonder after a while what is left TO cut… These are indeed interesting times.