Fires, floods, 'plague' and even locusts! 2020 is shaping up to be something indeed.
I started this post with a focus on COVID-19. It is everywhere at the moment. Even my 9 year old includes 'coronavirus' in her imaginary play...
As we struggle to make sense of it all, to find toilet paper, to keep sane in iso, to learn new technologies to connect with loved ones, to settle in to a new norm... it is important to also keep perspective. As hard as it is right now, this is a season. And it will pass.
As I was considering this my thoughts shifted to just a few months ago when my family and I were packed up into cars and evacuating our home from bushfires bearing down on our little bushland oasis. We had been told that we would lose our house. If not that day, then in coming days. I had my daughter and cat with me at work. We didn't know where we were going that night - we just knew it wasn't going to be home.
We managed to secure an AirBNB on short notice, and we were grateful. But it was surreal being in suburban Sydney, awaiting to hear if your house was going to survive.
It was isolating. It was frustrating. It was emotional.
And it was only 5 days.
On the fifth day we were allowed to return home. The fire still burned, but by some sad miracle, the smoke created a shield from the wind and sent the fire further north. Our house was spared, but our neighbouring town was devastated.
In these disasters it is hard to see the hope. It is hard to recognise the good, or celebrate when your neighbour is hurting.
In the grip of this virus, it is just the same. Whether affected directly, or indirectly, it is just hard to see the good.
So where is the hope?
The Australian bush is no stranger to bushfire. In fact, many native trees actually require the intense heat of the fire to germinate.
Bushland after fire is breathtaking. The green explodes from the black in the most beautiful way. It is a reminder that even in the heat of the hardest moment, there comes life.
The resilience of the land is inspiring, and it is this I try to remember when thinking of troubles. Whatever trial you are going through right now, remember - this too will pass. You may come out a little charred, a little singed. But, you will also flourish if you allow yourself a little time and tenderness.
Sometimes it helps to talk things through with someone. If you are thinking about 'what next?', then I may be able to help! However, if you are thinking 'where is the hope?' then it may be time to reach out to LifeLine or a similar service. You are not alone.