14 January 2011
Gathering Gratefuls - Hope Floats
Today's post is challenging to write as I'm conflicted between feeling ever so grateful for my own blessings but aware of the magnitude of devastation that is being experienced by so very many at this time.
If you are an Australian you are aware of all that is transpiring with the floods in my State of Queensland.
If you live anywhere else in the world, I'm sure that you've either read about them on blogs or seen footage in the media.
Water is such a vital part of our everyday lives but in recent times it has rained in such abundant amounts that the land has lost its capacity to contain it. What was a rare commodity just twelve months ago across much of Queensland is now flowing in such great volumes that it is has become a force to be feared.
In times such as these you very quickly realise what is most precious and important, and my grateful list for this week focuses upon the blessing that is the safety of my family and friends.
Even as I write this I feel selfish and guilty as there are many families dealing with the grief of losing their homes, livelihood, pets but most tragically family members and in the most horrific cases their entire town.
The only consolation I have is that Australian's are renowned for possessing a truly resilient spirit and already there have been examples of everyday valour filtering through the media.
And so, to my list. I am so very grateful for....
1. My parents who are high and dry & safe in Gympie.
They live in a wonderful neighbourhood of people who banded together to evacuate one of their own when the waters started to encroach on her home. I'm so relieved that although my parents street was cut off and they were isolated for several days, their home hasn't been directly effected. I'm proud of Dad for having the foresight to purchase a generator which has meant that they have had power to their home when others around them lost theirs for over 48 hours.
2. My brother and his small family who are safe in Brisbane.
My SIL works in Brisbane's CBD and was told to leave work early on Monday, she had a very nerve-wracking trip to pick up my niece from daycare but they are both safe and well.
My brother works in Central Queensland and was not only able to fly to Brisbane on Wednesday but safely drive to his home to be with his partner and my 3yo niece - a great relief!
Although their car was washed away in the floods, their home is safe and they are together.
3. Cpt. V's family who all reside in Brisbane are safe and well.
4. My friend Melissa, who with her husand has four young children under 10 - two with disabilities - has had her home flooded. She is optimistic though saying that it was only waist height and didn't reach the first story floor boards. Blessings Mel!
5. Cpt. V, the Gifts and I - that we are safe.
Although our property is VERY wet [a swift flowing stream has developed through the front of our yard] our home is OK and we have been able to continue on with our everyday lives.
Cpt. V has dug and dug and dug trenches around the exterior border of our land to successfully divert the water away from our house. Our tennis court and pool are both a mess, and all of the efforts we have made in preparation to sell our home have been lost.
Without a doubt we know that these are very small sacrifices compared to what many others are experiencing.
6. That we have such a wonderful resource in the Australian Defence Forces. These brave men and women have been doing so much to assist with this tragedy and it is reassuring to know that they are there. Thank you to their families who lose them regularly so that we may live in a safe and free country.
7. For Blogeristas who demonstrated over and over again how powerfully positive our community is.
A special mention to Naomi who gave such practical advice before the real destruction set in and Toni Coward for providing us with a way to help. I know that there are many, many more but these are the two who helped me the most this week.
8. For the enabling tool that is the internet and social networking.
Throughout this week it has been a godsend to be able to know what is going on without the necessary filter of the media which would have previously been my only source of news.
Thank you to all those who shared images and wrote about what was happening in your corner of the world even as the water was swallowing your neighbourhoods.
9. For sunshine.
10. For hope.
There will be many lists of gratitude gathering over at the lovely Maxabella's, so please pop on over for a read and then add in your own so that we might be bouyed up by the positive in these challenging times.
Oh and apologies if you opened some posts of mine in a Reader and then wondered where they went to on my blog. I removed them in light of what's happening at the moment - but rest assured our first 'Word of the Week' for 2011 will be up and running next Wednesday - come rain, hail or [hopefully] shine!
Biggest of hugs to you on this day - and if you're looking for another great read or three you will find them at Allison's Weekend Rewind.