At 8 am on Monday 20 March 2006, GOF and Mrs GOF were standing in front of their modest rural cottage, looking at the deep blue sky and appreciating a brief moment of total calm, silence, and serenity. Only one thing was unusual. All the birds were strangely quiet.
We were standing in the eye of tropical cyclone Larry, one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall in Australias recorded history.
During the following 2 hours Larry twisted and uprooted any large trees which remained upstanding from the first onslaught of the storm, and flung our little farm outbuildings to all quadrants of the compass.
We thought we understood cyclones, having lived through many during 25 years here.
We did not.
The predicament facing us that morning can only be understood by those who have experienced a direct hit by the most ferocious of tropical cyclones/typhoon/hurricanes. The realisation that your natural environment has been destroyed by the ferocity of mother nature, and that you could possibly not be around to see the sun come up on another day.
It is only with a large lump in my throat that I am able to recall that day, and remember those less fortunate than us….those whose dreams and homes were totally shattered and obliterated.
Moments like these tend to stop the clock of your life from ticking in its normal automatic unappreciative mode, and cause you to reset it using some different values of measurement.
My immediate appreciation was that, although we lost our little business/livelihood, we were spared, by good fortune of geography, our home.
I have, since that day, chosen on a daily basis to have some quiet time and acknowledge the little blessings I have in this life.
Occasionally I will share some of them with others.
This one is for the birds, who came back into our lives.
We hand feed up to 50 King Parrots at dawn every day. They are one of 35 different species of birds which regularly visit our garden.
It reminds me that, at least in my little neck of the woods, the world is a very beautiful place indeed.