I am now on a train on my way to Port Macquarie. In my own small way I want to support the Australian economy by visiting the koala hospital using public transport. I am hopeful that Australia will come through this terrible time and rebuild its shattered communities.
I have been struck by the stories of those who made the decision not to defend their properties, valuing their own lives and thinking about their families above their material possessions. One man who had lost his home, spoke of how others in the community had hugged him real close and these loving hugs had touched him immensely. This to me is hope in action, namely connectedness. When we have lost everything except our life, the kindness and compassion of others can help us to hope for a future not yet in sight.
I have also been deeply affected by the courage and selflessness of the firefighters and volunteer firefighters and by farmers who have decided to defend in an attempt to save their livestock. The Australiams who have spoken appear very brave gritty and determined to battle on in spite of their circumstances. This once again inspires me to do the same. Sadly lives have been lost amongst those who decided to defend. A man and his son, who was a surgeon, are two such people.
One couple who survived, Marilyn Mills and Mick Thompson, narrowly evaded death. Firefighters were unable to reach them. A fireball came at the house and Mick stated: “bugger this, I’m not dying here” and dragged his wife over the top of the cars to safety’. These stories of courage and a determination to survive are inspiring.
So far this journey into hope has been immensely helpful to me personally. Focussing on what hope means has been similar to steering a ship on a specific course. I have been far more hopeful and also negative thoughts have been much easier to manage. I feel that for me focussing on hope is an antidote to the despair which has hounded me throughout my life. This journey has changed my perspective and I feel I am walking through a new emotional landscape.
Have a hopeful day X