I always prided myself on choosing safe houses in live in, near enough to the ocean so I could enjoy the beach, but far enough away from the threat of drowning. Always aiming for the top of a cliff instead of at the bottom, just so the threat of flooding water couldn't drown me in my sleep or take away my fragile house. Today, for reasons of insanity I'm sure, I find myself living on the dusty plains, hours away from a decent or indecent breath of salty sea air. Yet, I still experienced the floods that came within a hairs breath away from my house and the experience wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. This was because I'd already gone through a huge period of grief and loss and only weeks before the Queensland floods I'd accepted life over the protection of material goods. That isn't to say I didn't feel a little drama of concern the night before the floods were due to happen. How civilised could a flood be that it let us know it was coming. If the local water authority had done its job and let a little water out of the local dams when it reached 65% capacity, the need to drown its local community with a sudden release of dam water after weeks of torrential rain, wouldn't have happened. But happen it did at 2am in the morning and I was sound asleep. I would have drown in my bed if the water had got as far as the huge swimming pool octopus I'd filled with air just incase we all needed a life bouy to hang onto to float away into the unknown ravages of whatever. In my street, we were all one of the lucky ones. The people of Grantham met the torrential rivers of water raging through their town with loss of human life, loss of cattle farms, loss of domestic pets and wild life, crushed homes and end of a small town economy and may the lord forgive the insurance companies who are still refusing to pay out, but considering a class action against the government who, after years and years of drought, decided to leave the dams full - just incase it didn't rain again after the downpour. And I do understand the need for fresh water after cleansing my highly sensitive skin raw, during Queenslands driest summers, with the gritty mineral remains of Lockear Valley reservoir deposits. The Brisbane floods all over and done with and Cairns gets a massive cyclone that floods Far North inland Queensland, then angelic and peaceful Christchurch people are New Zealand victims of a low lying violent earthquake that drenches torn up streets with debris filled, sewage stenched sea water. Then suddenly its China people who are being were crushed by another violent earthquake then so quickly forgotten, like the devastated town of Tully in Far North Queensland, as Japan takes centre media stage with the worst tsunami I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing human pain on TV, since the Indian Ocean tsunami a few years ago that is, and the Brazil earthquake and the fall of Greece last year.
So where to from here?
Which way is this belt of environmental change going to go and who will it hurt next?
My guess is its going straight up to heaven if we're not careful, but even if we are careful I'm not sure what we can do about yesterdays capitalism now, if it is our fault for screwing up the earth with all of our drilling and digging and use of dead matter to keep us in pollution.
Today, Scientists are being quoted as saying its not our fault and natural disasters happen. Ah well, all's well that ends well then. For now that we know this we won't have to change anything and we can get right back on with the digging and the drilling and chucking the rubbish into the bin. Once all of this earth muck and the death its caused has been washed away with clean water and the nightmare cannot be seen anymore.
Who was it that said that life is but a dream? They obviously hadn't experienced an earthquake or tsunami. God rest their souls. © Chris Tyne, 2011.