My word for this year is "SING". This came about in a strange way. I was in a lift and when I got off the man who had been in the lift stopped me.He said: "When you hum are you singing the words in your head?". I had to think about that but the answer was "yes". I was a bit embarrassed really as humming in company is not exactly good manners. Then the man smiled at me and said: "Oh you are a mind singer like my wife and daughters!". I had never heard of mind singing but was relieved that humming to myself didn't make me mad! I had always wondered if it proved I had a slightly odd mental illness!
The other reason is that I can feel joy or find joy in a day in retrospect but I want more than that now, I want my heart to sing for joy whatever is going on in my life. In other words I want to rise above the things that happen that I have no control over and be happy anyway. I have known for a long time that happiness is not dependent on what is happening around me but is the result of what is happening inside me. I want to put what I know into practice. So I am going to use singing to lighten my mood on those days when the pity party is striking up the band.
The new year has brought terrible bush fires to Australia, millions of acres burnt out, loss of farms and forests, thousands of animals killed. Also some loss of life among the human population.Some of what has been lost will revegetate when we finally have rain but many small animals, rare plants and environments like rain forests will never return. Thousands of people are homeless and emergency services are stretched to the limit. Although the fires in some places have been burning for months emergency services are only just being boosted with defence personnel. I won't go into,the politics of that!
As usual in a crisis in Australia people rise to the occasion and offers of all sorts of help flood the internet and other forms of media. People do sincerely want to help and support victims and those who will care for the burnt and injured wildlife. Lions Clubs have a fund called LCIF, the Lions Clubs International Foundation and they will act as a clearing house for donations sent in by small clubs like ours and also are able to draw
on disaster funding from overseas. That is one of the reasons I am a Lion - we help people in an emergency situation.
Many people are donating through charities like the Red Cross, RSPCA and various Wildlife funds. Of course the famous people who have access to moneyed people or have money themselves are offering money, in most cases directly to the bush fire services. I am most impressed that Pink! a singer I am a fan of has donated $500,000 because she says Australians have been so good to her. Well I guess we have been good to many others too, she is just the one to step up first. Bless her.
My next door neighbours were holidaying on the south coast of New South Wales, camping by a lake when the fires swept through and burnt out their car and caravan. Just before the fire hit they were taken out by boat into the middle of the lake by a kind stranger and from that vantage point saw it all happening. They were offered accommodation for a couple of nights before family members managed to get through enough road blocks to bring them home. I, like so many, was praying hard for their safety. They are a good family and great neighbours and I am fond of them and their four children. That sort of event is certainly a test of anyone's faith.
My daughter and her family are moving today to a new location, only 6kms from where they live now but still a big upheaval. They were to have a week away last week, several days of which were in Canberra over the New Year holiday period but the fireworks were cancelled due to the bush fires and smoke pollution from the bushfires in the Snowy Mountains so bad in that city that they returned early. We make plans in life but as we all know here our plans can change for many reasons. In the face of so much greater tragedies this is just a small price to pay for simply being alive and having a home to go to as my daughter said to me.
My son Trevor and granddaughter Alice will arrive here sometime around midnight. Alice told her father he had to go to bed early as they were leaving at 2am but he vetoed that idea on the grounds that there would be too much wildlife out on the highway. It is a long drive here from Broken Hill so they will both be very tired when they get here. I don't know how we will fill the ten days they are here because it will depend a lot on the temperatures, over 40 degrees (105) and I try not to go out. But there is a chance of rain tomorrow so maybe we can stay home and just catch our breath for a moment.