As you know I have been on a few weeks leave. I took the opportunity to visit Victoria; spending a few days in different places. Ocean. Lakes. Forests. Rivers. Mountains. Beaches. We certainly live in a beautifully diverse land and it was great spending time appreciating it. But two images, in particular, have embedded themselves in my memory. One is of burnt out forests on the slopes of Lake Mountain stretching as far as the eye can see. A landscape covered in tall silvery skeletons – the remains of once leafy gums standing like sentinels on the sweeping slopes ravaged by the fires of Black Saturday 10 years ago. They looked like sun-bleached coral beds glistening beneath a deep blue sky. The under-storey was clearly coming up but it was taking a long time.
Driving through the rolling valleys of Bruthen I was captivated by forests of blackened tree trunks covered in soft green re-growth. These were the forests burnt in last year’s horrendous bush fires. As you can see, 12 months later and the bush is regenerating. But it looked strange. The trees looked like upside-down green lollipops with a black stick reaching for the sky It was like something out of a science fiction movie (The Day of the Triffids) and I
expected the trees to start walking at any moment. It was eerie – but it was also strangely beautiful.
I was reminded of biblical images of dry bones coming back to life; of resurrection and new life emerging out of hopelessness. I was reminded of the earth’s capacity and willingness to never give up. I think we all know that there is something spiritual about the land but let it speak to us and sustain us is something else. May 2021 be a year of regeneration in every sense.