Happy New Year?

As you probably know I live in Queensland. But at the moment I consider myself a very lucky Queenslander, others in the state aren’t having such a great New Year.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or partying so hard your eyeballs have become inverted, you’ll be aware of the devastating floods that have affected huge areas of Queensland.

So far, 22 towns and over 200,000 people have been affected by this disaster………

But this adversity has again reminded me of how spirited and resilient the Australian people are. I’ve seen it many times before during other disasters where people have virtually lost everything and just vow to start again, rebuild and help their neighbours rebuild.

I saw a man being interviewed as he stood in his own house waist deep in water. “For three years we prayed for rain and now we’ve got it. We’ve just got too much of it!” He then let out a hearty laugh. Now that’s spirit!

In my recent post called I’m dreaming of a dry Christmas, Gordon took the time to comment and quote one verse from a very famous Australian poem.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

I checked out the full poem and want to quote you just a few more lines….

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –

And that, for me, sums it up. Australia is a wild country, but as long as you are prepared to put up with its extremes, you will be paid back three times over by its beauty.

There is a lot more to this poem, its well worth taking the time to read it. It is called “My Country” and you can read it in full here at Dorothea Mackellar’s website archive.

The next three months here in Queensland are going to be very tough. We don’t know exactly what it will bring, but cyclones and more rain are sure to be a big feature.

On October 13 last year in a post called the great Australian barbecue, going rusty, I wrote “So maybe we are just one weak cyclone, anytime in the next 4 months, away from disaster.” At that time all the dams were full.

It was cyclone Tasha that crossed the coast south of Cairns on Christmas Day to trigger the torrential rain that has destroyed so many towns north of Brisbane.

And right now, the dams are still full, the rivers are full and many have now broken their banks, the soil is full and Queensland is full of water! There is nowhere left for it to go.

So right now, we are all just hoping that the “one weak cyclone”, or any kind of cyclone for that matter, has now been and gone and that we get no more that make landfall.

Here’s hoping for a happy 2011.

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