Tender green leaves on the burned ground

Australia forest fire

We were 9 in total and travelled in 2 cars on a cold Victorian Saturday morning towards Marysville, the town that was the worst hit by the bushfires of Black Saturday in our summer of 2009. As we entered into the bushfire zone, it looked to me like a battlefield after war, with lots of dead bodies on the ground. There were lots of burned trunks lying across the floor of the forest, looking much like fallen men.

Yet incredibly, there were a huge amount of trees still standing tall and strong. On both sides of the rainforest, the beauty of their survival was breathtaking. Along the black tree trunks already grew leaves of tender green, and two shades of other green, interspersed with autumn colours of rust and pink. And tree ferns, vibrant with health almost covering the floor of the forest! We could still smell the fire, now wet with rain and new life.

The township of Marysville is mostly fenced off as most houses have been destroyed. In some cases there is just the garden gate with the house number left on it…We all walked in silence for a while and paid our respect. The energy of the place is not one of sadness but rather of hope and strength of human spirit. We had lunch at the local bakery, the only place left, and made our way to Kinglake, one hour up the hill, to do a vibration on Amanda’s uncle’s property. On the way we saw more burned forest, the incredible path the fire took, leaving some place untouched, while totally burning others.

When we reached the property, the icy cold wind was blowing and there was little shelter in sight. Rugged up like Michelin men we looked for an appropriate place and David and Hans spotted a burned flat spot, right at the edge of a totally burned wood, once an animal pen. There, stood 9 kangaroos! It was indeed the right spot as for a while we did not feel the wind, the sun even made 2 or 3 appearances to encourage us with its warmth, sweet little birds sang for us on dead branches and an eagle glided and circled throughout the whole vibration. But by the end of it the wind had started and everyone was frozen, we sang as we walked back to the cars and rushed down the road for a hot chocolate at the only shop there was! A well deserved cuppa, for service rendered to the spirit of the land of Victoria!

That evening we shared a beautiful and hearty dinner, harmonisations for some, listening for others, while Ruth and I drove another hour to the farm to attend to an injured horse. And in the morning we returned to Melbourne to partake in the harmonisation revision, lots of driving, lots of praying, lots of shared moments.

I would like to thank our Victorian friends for their warm and caring welcome and the effort involved in organizing this pilgrimage.

Rosemary, Sydney, May 2009