A Country on Fire.

This post is a little different from what I may usually write because what has been happening lately here in Australia is far from normal. I’ve been trying to be upbeat on social media through all of this, but sometimes it’s hard. Given the subject matter, it is not an easy one for me to write, so I’ll keep it as brief as possible.

So far, the New Year hasn’t exactly been a happy one for me, and fellow Australians. As you may already know, Australia is on fire; the worst in our history and it has been truly terrifying.

Fires have been happening since about August (our winter) of last year and now that we’re in the middle of summer, every new day poses a new threat. I live in country New South Wales and thankfully nowhere near the fires, but we have been getting a lot of smoke and like many Australians, remain ever vigilant.

The news and images have been horrific; parts of the country and animals destroyed that may never be the same again. The South Coast of NSW, where I frequented during my childhood holidays; the Blue Mountains where I once lived; Jenolan Caves where I’ve been a regular visitor over the years; Kangaroo Valley where my family and I stayed for my 20th wedding anniversary; a rainforest we visited up north a few years back that had never seen fire. It makes me wonder how much of my State, let alone my country will be left after this.

Australia and its environment play a large influence on my writing and I’ve seen the effect it has had on my fellow Australian writers; some unable to write because of it. For me, being a Highly Sensitive Writer, it finally came to a head one day last week where I had to take a step back from everything and give myself some space. Thankfully, I felt much better afterward.

Through all of this though, there is hope; the kindness and generosity of strangers, both here and overseas, the sheer bravery of our firefighters, and in more recent days, cooler conditions. When this is all finally over, I hope our firefighters receive the recognition they deserve and we as a country can enable change and move forward.

How does tragedy affect your writing? Does your environment play an important role in your stories? How has 2020 been for you so far?

Images courtesy Pixabay

6 thoughts on “A Country on Fire.

  1. Tragedy definitely affects my writing. Makes my thoughts run in circles so it’s hard to be creative. I am praying for your beautiful country.

    1. Debbie Johansson 15/01/2020 — 9:49 am

      Thank you, Priscilla! Tragedies certainly make it difficult to concentrate. I couldn’t write for a while over the Christmas period, but now that things have settled down somewhat, I’m trying to make up for lost time. 😉

  2. My thoughts and prayers go out to Australia. Having just visited your amazing country this past July, I can hardly believe how quickly the fires have escalated. My heart breaks seeing it on the news. I hope you and yours remain safe.

    1. Debbie Johansson 16/01/2020 — 3:48 am

      Thank you, Brigitte! We’ve had a cooler change these past few days and rain is expected, so fingers crossed. 🙂

  3. I live in British Columbia, Canada. We–my family–faced our share of forest fires (and floods) and have come very close to being evacuated. We could see the glow of the fires over the mountains at night and smell smoke all the time.

    My heart goes out to the people of Australia. The fire fighting and the recovery will be a long bumpy road.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Debbie Johansson 16/01/2020 — 3:53 am

      Thanks, Anna! Having fires nearby is really scary, isn’t it? My husband and I used to live in the Blue Mountains and had our bags packed during a couple of them. I really feel for those people who have been affected this summer. Sadly, the recovery from these fires is going to take many years.

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