Monday, February 9, 2009

Preparing for change

I think it's safe to say, our lives will not be the same after this sobering event in our state. A climbing death toll (human lives only, and the full scale not yet realised) stands at one hundred and eight. Although it is in this one small corner of the globe, it seems the group consciousness when something devastating like this happens is wide and far-reaching. I don't know if anyone else can feel it, but a pall seems to have been cast at the moment. A blanket of sorrow and grief, the shock will slowly start to lift over the coming weeks as collective acceptance - the human spirit - sinks in. And it will be a group conscious effort to support not only the victims but everyone who's been affected.

Despite the physical donations, there is something I've been attempting to maintain my focus on: the only non-physical thing I know to do, and that is clearing and protecting All. Nature herself has been thrown into chaos and confusion, with trees dropping leaves in the staggering heat last week only to burst new buds out yesterday because of the flipside cool. I'm looking at birds as they fly around my home here and wonder if they are disoriented. Stories have emerged of possums and koalas and other native animals, usually frightened of humans, traipsing onto verandahs and balconies desperate for the water bowls placed out by caring residents. So I am simply throwing the net wide over all these creatures, great and small, human, flora, fauna, and sending all the positive energy I can muster.

It seems futile, but remember (if you are willing to do anything similar): the positive intent and the trust that it only takes one grain of sand to move a mountain is what counts in times like these.

There is such a strong desire to get in ones' car deliver food for the dogs and cats, toothbrushes, hair ties, combs, clothes, soaps, sleeping bags - this list could go on for pages - however, we've been urged not to deliver items. Rather, money and blood are being sought.

I am definitely going to donate money and blood. There are 20 or so victims (as at this morning, this could have risen) currently in our major trauma hospital in Melbourne on life support. One report I saw claimed the hospital has run out of morphine already. I cannot even dip into the horror of the severity of what's going on there, for it goes only part way to allowing into my conscious awareness the devastation that is yet to be witnessed out there on the ground, in places the emergency services are yet to reach.

If you would like to help but haven't known where or how:

LATEST INFORMATION @ 4:45pm Monday 9/2:
Authorities and radio are requesting that anyone wishing to donate, phone the Red Cross 1800 811 700 to find out the best way and method to do this.
(I think this may be because there is now such an inundation of items that they are trying to streamline co-ordination of donations)

To donate blood call the Red Cross on 131 495

To donate funds, go to the Salvo's website or the Red Cross (or freecall 1800 811 700 within Australia) - both are secure online forms.

Or you can make a direct deposit via the Victoria Bushfire Relief Fund (this is the one I'm donating to and you can check the details here, part of local Melbourne Nova 100's radio station website):

NAB account
BSB: 082-001, A/C no: 860046797

For information on the ongoing fires:
CFA bushfire hotline - 1800 240 667
State Emergency Service - 132 500

I heard someone say this morning that the current state of crisis in Victoria is as if "the end of the world" is coming. Well.... I'd like to gently suggest that, yes, it sort of is. The end of the world as we knew it. How we rebuild from here may make all the difference.

Above all, I hope wherever your loved ones are - whether here, around the country or the rest of the world - that they are safe.

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