Tuesday, January 11, 2011
A Tragedy Down Under
I have many dear friends in Australia.
Pete and Naomi, Ali g and KK, and Dozy in New South Wales.
Crookedpaw in Victoria.
Jack and Ali and Larry, in Queensland.
Of these, Larry is the only Aussie friend I have actually laid eyes on—the only one I have hugged and kissed, poked and prodded, eaten and drank with. Napped nearby, cut grass with (well, I cut--and he directed the operation) and gotten lost on a dirt road with. Larry bought me lunch, I bought him supper. Larry cooked for me, I washed dishes for him. I built a big bonfire and went swimming in the moonlight, while he crabbed at me for doing something so foolish. Larry brought me jewelry from Laos and gave me his Drizabone coat. I handled his car rental, gave him a place to stay for a month, and put two bullets through his cell phone for him.
But even though I have never held the hands of my other Aussie friends, or leaned against them while laughing, or shared a timid bite of Vegemite, that does not mean that I love them any less. I have been incredibly blessed. These far-away friends have enriched my life more than I ever thought possible.
That’s why I am worried, tonight.
Australia, and especially Queensland, is experiencing a terrible tragedy. Flooding there is the worst on record. This land which was recently going through an epic drought is now inundated with water. The rain won’t stop. The ground is saturated. The rivers are over-flowing and the dams are taxed. I am watching and listening. This girl who shuns the television can’t seem to keep away from it.
I am very, very worried. And I’m ten thousand miles away.
I can’t hug, or hold, or poke or prod. I can’t give them a place to stay, if they need one, or rent them a car to get to high ground. I can’t share Vegemite with them or build them a fire to help them dry out and get warm. I’m helpless. And I don’t like the feeling, at all.
My heart goes out to all those thousands of Aussies who are affected by this terrible event. And my thoughts and prayers are with my wonderful friends who are at the epicenter of the Australian flood.
God Bless you. And please… be safe. Please.
Above are photos sent to me by my pal, Jack. These were taken days before the floodwaters threatened the lives of so many Australians. God rest the souls of those who are lost.