Monday, 21 January 2008

The Bush

In Australia, I have always tended to find myself in bushland surroundings; whether it be the dry husk in the middle of nowhere, or located near conservation parks; trees seem to have a strong drawing power for me. I like it. The bush offers great wildlife, and even in suburbia, the bush provides a sense of space; a sense of peace; a sense of solitude, despite the awaiting concrete catastrophe humming in the background like a swarm of bees. There is a lot of beauty in the bush; in winter especially. I love to journey deep into the soul of the nearby bush and immerse myself in the colour, the smells and sounds; doing so is about as close to nirvana as I reckon I am ever likely to get.

Unfortunately, the big risk in living with untamed bushland on your doorstep, besides the inevitability of snakes, is bush fire, and in this part of the world, along with the ensuing drought, this threat is absolutely real.

South Australia, along with other parts of Australia, has had its fair share of bushfire already this season, but Friday, fire was threatening the closest suburb next to us - it is not a good feeling to hear the unnerving wail of emergency vehicles, nor smell the faint yet distinct aroma of smoke, and it is rather alarming to nonchalantly duck outside to hang out the washing, only to catch sight of a water bombing helicopter flying over head, amidst dumping a load of water, seemingly in the next street. Where is it? How far away is it? Are we safe? These are questions that filter into the old scone, prompting the Internet to be switched on in search for answers.

We were in effect, safe. The fire, in no way compares to those recently experienced in California or even in Kangaroo Island for that matter, stands as a warning that bush living offers both gifts as well as dangers. You see, life is fundamentally, always about balance.


Lynda said...

Helloooo there... welcome back to the world of the mad bloggers. I was sure if I knew you or not.. but I just had a look at your old blog... Now I am all up to date. Sounds like you had a rough time for a while - self-funded return home.. blerk, been there done that got the tshirt and NEVER again. Hope things settle down and you find your stride again soon.
Cheers Lynda

Shelby said...

enjoyed reading thru your blog this morning.. take care and be safe from those bush fires..happy day :)

jeanie said...

Oh, you really DO need some of that rain that is operating on inundation terms around here, don't you?

I will just have a talk to the boss about it - however, after doing a weather session with the Department during one temp job, the sad fact is that your neck of the woods = hot, dry summer and wetter winter; our neck of the woods = hot, humid summer with monsoonal possibilities and drier winters...

How did the shorts shopping go? I can relate to the need for time out!

Tracey said...

I know that bushfire fear and smell... back when I was in high school (in suburban Sydney), bushfires came as close as the back fences (and sheds) of the houses across the road from us. We were prevented access to our streets as we came home from school, and back in those pre-mobile phone days, my biggest fear was whether my mum was at home, or still at work.

The footage on TV of bushfires happening never ceases to affect me. You are so right about living near the bush being a 'balance.'

The Brave said...

That is pretty horrifying Tracey, thanks for sharing that.

Kathleen said...

I can certainly understand the "need for trees" and wanting to live in that area...make "bush" a "forest" and that's where I would be. Be happy...and be safe.
Oftentimes the best parts of life involve some risk.