Moving to Australia from Canada was part of my dream of living in all the continents. At that time my only concern was snakes and spiders. I am terrified of both and read all the books about Australian wildlife. I chose Brisbane because I have extended family here and the weather is nice ( not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter). And I honestly thought I really made a smart decision. a good neighbourhood, easier access to everything, a good school and though the nightlife isn’t really awesome, I thought it was not that bad ( surely I am aging!)
When I was in Canada, the first year it rained continuously for 29 days, the second year,temperature dropped to -17 and we often had snow storms plenty of times and . But none of those events really affected my life. When the temperature dropped, I added an extra layer of winter clothes. When the snow storm hit, I shovelled the drive way and within an hour or two the snow ploughs came and cleared the roads. Even the superstore outlet near where I stayed had bobcats ready in the car parks to clear the snow.
So moving to Australia was a walk in the park..so I thought. All I had to worry about was snakes and spiders. I really spend time and effort to ensure that my house and the immediate surroundings will not encourage snakes to take up permanent residence and closed all the nooks and crannies where spiders could lurk..
Even in my wildest dream I never imagined a flood like what we have had in Australia. The flood of 2011, the river rose 19 meters high, and my local shopping mall was flooded to the rafters. Last flood, we were told that it was one in 30 years occurrence. Some of my friends have only just moved in to their renovated home after the last flood and their house went under again this time.
An Aboriginal friend tells me that when the settlers arrived to the suburb where I live, they were puzzled that there were no aboriginal settlements. When they asked the elder why is that?, the elder pointed to the tallest tree..the debris from the previous flood was still on top of that tree.. But I never knew that story. I live in a exclusive suburb ( not trying to boast), and there was no mention that my house could go under water..as it is in the flood plains.. surely, the council had the maps and knew the history of the place..Like the aboriginal people knew 150 years ago.
The creek behind my property breached the banks on the 2nd day of rain. My neighbours and I spend the past few days checking the flow of the water. if it was flowing backwards, we knew there would be no hope ! Luckily, it didn’t.
This time, the river didn’t rise as high as predicted. The local shopping mall is still open, but the shelves are empty. On the first day of rain, there was a massive panic buying and the new supplies won’t arrive from the the north/south for a while. The govt expects there will be water supply shortage soon.
But my troubles are nothing compared to what is going on in Bundaberg.. A lot of people have lost their homes and everything that they own..
I remember reading this
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” The Penelopiad by M.Atwood
I hope those affected by the fury of mother nature will find a way to move on.. As for me, as much as I am glad that my house and my children are safe..there is still this feeling of fear..when is the next one coming?