Dorothea Mackellar wrote the classic Australian poem, “My Country” in which she compared Australia to our English, pre-colonial roots in the rural British Isles.
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
The world is currently experiencing the heartache of flood, earthquake, volcano and the ravages of famine. Wars and rumour of war confront us everywhere. America and Australia are still actively engaged in defending our interests in Afghanistan and the Middle East, generally.
My country is still enfolded within the awful grip of a massive drought. It has extended over more than three years.
The countryside is parched, and many farmers have their proverbial ‘backs to the wall.’ Many have walked away, leaving lost generations of toil by their forebears that built their holdings. The banks then move in and repossess the long-outstanding debt that can never be repaid.
Now the ravage of uncontained fire has us by the throat. Like America, we are truly a land of contrasts; and yet, we have so much in common, even beside our heritage and language. The same applies to our cousins in Canada.
Canada has also recently experienced the huge, searing destruction of ravaging forest fire. We sent some of our Rural Firefighters over to help. They do the same for us; and at present we have American and Canadian firefighters returning the favor.
It’s a good time to stay indoors if you can. I’m hibernating inside because of extreme heat, and the bushfires will be back again over the next few days with temperatures expected to hit the ton, (100F+). Being an ‘old-timer,’ long retired, I can do that. Unfortunately, many do not have the luxury.
Our government has moved to give every volunteer member of the Rural Fire Service (RFS) $6,000 tax free, and no strings attached whatsoever. Many of these stalwarts have been weeks away from jobs and families. Some of them lost their own homes while they fought to save the homes of others.
Businesses let their employees (who are volunteer members of the RFS) take leave to fight the fires and hold their jobs without penalty. Many continue their wages for the duration, for this is a total community effort.
Then we have the massive appeals for food, clothing and cash to give those who have lost everything some sort of a new start. I can say with a great deal of pride that my countrymen are selfless donors to causes such as this; and though we are all intrinsically selfish, Australians will readily put their respective hands in their pockets for such as this.
Many of the bush dwellers are, of course, ‘greenies’ and off-the-grid folk. And though they have their houses, many do not take out fire insurance. Conversely, of course, many insurance companies and underwriters will NOT offer them insurance as the risk is considered too great. Or if offered, it comes with a massive premium that is simply unaffordable.
The bush has been building up undergrowth for thirty years or more because the clueless environmentalists/greenies themselves prevailed upon successive levels of government and raised public perception of ‘let’s save nature and the helpless animals in the forest.’ The fires, now described as ‘mega’ and uncontainable, then burn with a deadly fury, turning swiftly into the maelstrom of a firestorm.
The little marsupials such as rock wallabies and koala bears and possums, quolls et al, perish in the thousands. Many were on the endangered list to start with. So these ‘know-it-all’ save the planeteers actually contribute to the annihilation of species instead of saving them. I have to say it, “A good heart is often little substitute for crass, uniformed and mindless stupidity!”
The Australian Aborigines shake their heads in disbelief at our obdurate stupidity. We refused, for many years, to listen to their wise counsel. For thousands of years, they deliberately burnt off the land to burn out the undergrowth as part of their developed husbandry of their respective tribal lands. Consequently, the undergrowth never got to unmanageable proportions. Worse, the white man has introduced many foreign species of plants which have invaded the landscape and provide even more potential fire fuel.
We have a lot to answer for, I think. Our RFS attempt preventative measures of containment by performing a lot of winter back-burning when weather permits. Unfortunately, the fuel levels inside the natural eucalyptus forests are massive and the fuel load simply too heavy. Much of the bush is impenetrable except for a few fire trails or the run of electricity towers cut through it.
Are you getting that massive cold front? I guess so, seeing as how it has even hit California. I watched a newsreel the other evening showing clogged highways and dozens of vehicular accidents. One extreme to the other.
The secular take the view (à la Greta Thunberg) that it is the result of man-induced Climate Change and we face doom within twelve years. Oh… and of course, we breed far too much. They praise any steps to obviate the latter, including abortion, euthanasia, enforced surgical/chemical contraception, and welcome moves toward a genderless society with the death of marriage and family.
They brook no argument and with vitriolic language, cruel coercion and violence, enforce these views on all who would oppose them. Political will is the first casualty of this war. The gutless, smelling the wind, quickly join the ‘bandwagon’ of doomsayers. And the bureaucratic infiltration of our respective education systems sees our kids brainwashed as critics such as Greta are glorified and lifted, internationally, to near sainthood. I conclude that we don’t have secular people amongst us. Rather, we have the ground-swell of a new faith that pay homage to and worship the inglorious.
I see our Godless, forsaken clergy of the fast-failing/fallen Protestant and Catholic church, have, for the main, joined in the chorus, led by the heretic, Francis of Rome. Along with his quest for a one-world system of religious worship, he leaves little for Satan to accomplish. He need just stand around waiting to collect the harvest of lost souls.
Beware O man who claims to speak for God Almighty; you will share leadership with those destined for the abyss.
Many believers (myself included) hold the view that we are now experiencing the preliminary signs relevant to the return of our Redeemer Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings. To endorse views similar to those expressed by a local, well-known Australian footballer turned lay preacher of the true Word, ‘a reckoning is coming along with the real King of Climate Change.’
Matthew 24:3-4 “And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
Matthew 24:5-8 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Be Ready at Any Hour
(Genesis 6:1-7; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-48)
Matthew 24:36-44 “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
“Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come. But know this, that if the manager of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.”
May 2020, before it runs its race, see us safely upon our way home. Let’s join together to pray for that.
With great affection and brotherly love from Yours Most Truly in ‘Terra Firma Australis.’