Editorial Dec 20th 2019

Welcome to this week’s Editorial,

Congo Road, Congo by Casey Flynn Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This image of Congo Road, captured this week by local photographer Casey Flynn, says so much more than the thousand words one can imagine because it speaks in its own way to each and all of us.

The image is at first surreal, a play on light on what might be fog or mist but we all know it is smoke. Not just any smoke but the dense acrid lung burning smoke that fails to lift and with its presence brings a fear.

The smoke reminds each and all of us that we live between some of the densest forest in the world and that the terrain it occupies is virtually inaccessible and barely able to be defended. The smoke also reminds us that our forest is as tinder dry as our own gardens are and that a wild spark, an ember, an act of arson or a simple accident could open the gates of Hell on us as has happened in the past and as is happening at present to our north.

For some looking at this photo they will see the sad loss of life of two incredibly brave volunteer fire fighters trying their best to defend their community. The image here also reminds us of our own volunteers who have taken themselves, their fire fighting resources and their undaunting commitment to help defend communities far away from home. For many, though the fight already may have taxed them of their strength it has failed to dampen their spirit as they save one asset, one home, one village or town at a time.

This photo to many will also have them concerned for the livelihoods of all the wildlife that call the forest their home. The news and social media is filled with images of the devastating effects the fires have had on our koalas. At a local level our own WIRES volunteers are doing all they can for the joeys, the little wombats, the possums, the gliders, the reptiles, birds and flying fox pups brought in to them for care. Those volunteers look at this image and hope that the wildlife here remain safe.

Many of our local businesses will look at this image and see the loss of critical income over this holiday season that enables them to employ, to support our local economy and maybe even put some aside to last through the next winter.

This photo does mean something different to each and all of us. Casey has captured here a moment of our history. Let us all wish that that moment in history passes by quickly and that we all keep safe until better days arrive; and with them, the rain. Until next Lei