This drought is brutal. In the weeks before the fire hit us we had to shoot 3 downer cows and an old horse. What you don’t see behind that bland statement is the heartache and tears. The hours of lugging food and water, expensive vet supplies, feed, care and worry. Millie, Isis, JB and Murphy, rest in peace.
There’s a grief that has no name at times like this. A cloud settles on your soul. A weariness as the dust infiltrates every orifice, an all-pervading worry at the mounting costs and the ever-dwindling river. How will we survive when it stops? How will we pay for feed? Who will we sell? Our animals are our friends. I like them a lot more than humans. I am so deeply depressed right now.
And then the fire came. We were lucky. We prepared for a crown fire because the eucalypts are all dead, dying or shut down. There is no food for the koalas. And in our nearest town, Port Macquarie, the beautiful paperbark swampland has been burning for months. Because it’s so dry. We only lost all our beautiful bush and some dry paddock. The national park on our boundaries is still burning.
WATCH: NSW Rural Fire Service tips for making a bushfire survival plan. Post continues below.
We are exhausted. We haven’t breathed clear air for months. The wind is relentless. The sky’s apocalyptic. The Prime Minister goes to the cricket and says that it will lift the spirits of the firies and farmers.
I beg to differ. We feel abandoned, ignored, violated. We are on the frontline of a climate emergency and we hear platitudes, thoughts and prayers.
I can’t feed my animals with thoughts and prayers, I can’t fight a fire with them.