At first the rain was hailed a blessing. The parched land drank ravenously and nourished its thirst. Dry rivers ran. Creeks filled. Farmers whistled; ducks sang and frogs croaked in joyful chorus. Praise the deluge! By Jarvis Holt
All too soon the damp turned into disaster. The incessant rain became our foe. Banks broke and flood waters ruthlessly engulfed the countryside. Families fled their inundated homes, helpless fauna drowned and roads and fences were washed away. Devastation. Despair. Distress.
Finally the sun battled its way through the rain clouds. The downpour surrendered but the aftermath resembled a warzone. Whole towns had been swallowed up by the merciless torrent........ BUT from the bleakness rose the beauty of humanity.
“Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out not in; and lend a hand.”
E. and E. Hale
In immediate response, volunteers arrived armed with mops and buckets to help with the recovery. Compassion was their motive. Food parcels filled with home-baked cooking were left anonymously on doorsteps. Random acts of kindness were commonplace. The goodwill of friends and strangers helped clean, repair and rebuild flood damaged buildings. The generous spirit of the Samaritans helped victims put their lives back together. This is the Australian way. Help a mate. “Lend a hand.”
Together, Australians united in a time of great need, to lighten the burden of those who had suffered the wrath of the storm. Each act of altruism created a patch of healing until a quilt of love wrapped its warmth around each victim. Australians be proud. When it came to humanity, you were supreme.
Characteristically, Aussies’ are optimists. Over eighteen months has passed since the floods and while the torrential rain did much damage, it has become visually obvious that it also did much good to our environment. The rain was Mother Nature’s gift to flora that had long suffered during the unforgiving drought. Now the foliage of trees boasts robust vigour. The cracked earth has healed its wounds. Grass is plentiful for stock and native mammals. Crops are thriving on sub soil moisture and water storages are at healthy levels. Even at microscopic inspection, life is flourishing in glorious abundance. The earth has rejuvenated. God’s garden has never looked better!
I realise all is not rosy for everyone. The floods have caused longterm effects for many victims and their healing is a slow process. I don’t want to undermine their ongoing anguish; their pain is very real. I do however want to point out that from adversity; we saw the best of humanity. The outreach of generosity and kindness reminded us that community spirit is very much alive. Sorrow is no one’s friend. It is my sincere wish that the survivors are able to find emotional peace so they can see beyond the dark consequences of the flood and once again appreciate the beauty of life.
By Jarvis Holt