Well, talking about the weather is something that I do to start a conversation, especially being new in town. Our first few months in Brisbane have provided many opportunities to talk about the weather, and for good reason. People keep telling us that this much rain in summer is unusual. Memories came rushing back from when we moved to The Netherlands fifteen years ago, and it was the coolest winter that they’d had for years. We are very fortunate not to have experienced the dramas that many have over the last 48 hours here in Brisbane.
Thankfully we’re not located in a flood zone, but people sharing their stories through the various forms of media made it very real. The kids and I made sure that we had some things packed, just in case.
I’ve never been this close to a disaster of any sort, and it made me realise once again how fortunate I am…a few years away from forty. In contrast to this my Dad experienced a lot of tragedy before he turned 21. He’s told me stories from his childhood in Indonesia…of war and famine. As a young boy he witnessed his friend being shot on the street. He ended up with blood on his shirt and just having to walk away. Whenever family came to visit us, they would talk about such experiences, and looking back, I can see that it was how they processed those difficult times.
Watching all the messages posted through various social media sites has been amazing. It seems much like those family gatherings, but the processing is happening as the event unfolds, and not forty years later. People are banding together both physically, and over the internet. They are doing what they can to help each other, much like my Dad and his family and friends processing what they had been through. Throughout the day we received many messages from friends all over the world, asking if we were OK…I felt so blessed that I could respond with “we’re fine, we’re not in the flood zone” every single time.
Last week we were listening to local radio, driving home from Bribie Island, on a road that is currently flooded. An elderly farmer in another part of Queensland told of his plight, to the point of tears. Initially they were tears of sorrow, which then turned to joy due to his neighbours rallying together to do all that they could to help him, despite their own predicaments. It was such a moving recount.
As the kids and I packed our things, just in case, we have had to consider what’s important. It seems such a luxury compared to those whose decision has been made for them.
Please keep all those effected in your thoughts and prayers, and if you can financially support those who have been affected, please go to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.