I wonder how I will ever return to everyday life after this time of rainforest wildfires and their aftermath?

I wonder if those beautiful practices that held me so steady every day before the fires, will be do-able in the same way?

I haven’t done them in their order, with devotion, for over two weeks now and life feels like it has fundamentally shifted on its axis.

I’m still a committed Zen practitioner, mindfulness practitioner, yoga and qi gong practitioner. Oh, and a writer too (thank god the writing began again yesterday and is running into today as well).

Do I need to change when or how I practice these things though; because I am no longer the same person?

There’s a fierceness and white-hot clarity about what’s important, that’s easy to access now.

There’s a real sense that I’ll call bullshit for what it is now; especially with people who have agendas that are self-serving and not for the good of all.

There’s a brokenness and extreme vulnerability that comes from experiencing something that is entirely beyond human control (let alone my control).

Sometimes those IAA warnings during the firestorm times still haunt me: “…if you haven’t left by now you must seek shelter. Firefighters may not be able to help you…” or similar.

Fuck. We’ve NEVER seen warnings like that at Beechmont-Binna Burra. With an inferno upon you and all roads closed and impassable, where do you seek shelter? In your burning home? In your rainwater tank? We have no experience of such life-threatening emergencies – we are rainforest people.

The helplessness. The hauntedness of leaving home knowing you may never see it again.

It’s not just “stuff” in there. It’s stories of my life in concert with everyone I love.

Dave Groom’s first-ever oil painting – of Fraser Island. His William Robinson-inspired rainforest triptych that I paid off on the occasion of David’s and my engagement.

Cal’s portrait of Clancy’s coming of age. Her Circus Diary photograph that I love so much. Her rare paintings.

Huon’s oboe.

Gifts. Knick-knacks collected over a lifetime – mine and my forebears.

The whole freak’n house that I’ve been sanding and painting and restoring by hand for almost three years.

It’s not “stuff” by any stretch of the imagination.

And then there’s the heartbrokenness of all the decades of all the research of all the work of all the warnings of all the grief of all the hope – all that activism which in itself broke me and that fell on deaf ears.

The worst possible climate collapse scenario is now coming to pass in our very own backyard. In my sweet, awake, engaged community that values peace and sanctuary and connection and Mother Earth over all else.

I am heartbroken. I am fucking furious.

As my time in Bruns comes to an end, I am wondering how I will walk back into my old life and carry on?