“Empty and Alert
…In spite of certainty, be keen and attentive, empty and receptive.
Search only in the light and the dark source is overlooked. Be only moving and the still origin is missed. Be only full and the empty centre is lost.” (The Way, by Lao Tzu)
Last week I finally heard from an old friend whom I feared had been in the way of the Victorian fires. No news for a year and yes she had lost everything except her precious dog and the clothes on her back. Her response to me, though hard to fully comprehend, was: “Oh well now the world is my oyster…I’m free!” Whilst her hard won freedom response is courageously wonderful, and most of us may not have that reaction, I am left with that burning question of: “How can we be alert to probable issues like fire, living in forested areas, and how can we best prepare without panic or denial?” I suspect my friend didn’t prepare or even think it was necessary! Her motto would probably be “that’s life!”
Since Victoria’s fires last year I have felt more alerted to my home’s environs – lots of tall trees and a large local reserve nearby. My response apart from the usual clearing and establishing a fire plan, was to get made up metal removable fire protective barriers for the more vulnerable windows. The metal barriers should keep out embers and preserve the window’s integrity…I hope. It wasn’t that expensive and two ‘little people’ can fairly easily handle them. Most of all I feel less afraid, more prepared and content that I have done the best I can given all the circumstances of my self and home.
Denmark may not have to face the devastating destruction of Haiti, Toodyay or Victoria. We all hope sincerely. My offering in preparing for Autumn and the real possibility of many very hot days to come is “what else can we do for ourselves and for this community to prepare?” I wonder for those who can, whether metal shutters (as well as other precautions) can be a tangible preventative solution? Could this be something that individuals and the Denmark shire consider in high-risk areas? I invite any interested people who want to see this “shutter” option in vivo to come and have a look. Please give me a call if you wish to view. Let us prepare and resolve internally and externally where we can in our lives.