With all the fires raging out of control around Australia it can feel strange to be going about daily life as if nothing is happening. We are safe and not immediately threatened. So we can almost forget the reality is very different for so many. However, there is the ever present smoke from fires in the air. Smoke that travels across the Tasman sea from Victoria to Tasmania. Smoke that hangs heavy in the sky, turning the sun into a red disc. And there is a feeling of unease and anxiety permeating everything we do. Fear for all our loved ones scattered across this vast continent. Sorrow for their homes and land being burnt. And mourning for all the animals, birds and insects extinguished by fire's rage. And the plants, all the beautiful plants devoured.
And yet in the midst of tragedy there is hope. Like this beautiful koala who joined us last week on our camping adventure in the Dandenong ranges. We were there with some trepidation for the Firekeepers' summer camp. On the first morning when the rest of the village was due to arrive, this koala was spotted in a tree near the willum (our gathering place between the trees). Word spread and soon the whole village was standing below the tree gazing upwards in reverence and joy at this sign of precious life, snoozing in a wattle tree.