I think there are two lots of people for whom the fires have impacted our lives so it won't be the same ever again.
Those like me hit by overpowering blankets of smoke for days or weeks, and watching from distance as friends and towns faced fires up front.
Then there are those whose lives and treasures and dreams were torn away as they lived the nightmare. I don't think those of us who were not there can ever appreciate what this is like.
And now to watch the rest of us go back to "normal" their pain and angst goes on. And on. How long? Will there ever be a "normal" again for them?
And so we owe something to these fellow life travellers. We owe ourselves. We owe our children. None of us should merely pick up pieces and return to what was "normal".
We must resist. We must play our part.
We must change our ways. No more quiet obedient gullible Australians.
We must become climate warriors. We must join the fight for truth and reality and change.
We witnessed the power of community these past weeks. The Aussi heart.
This is worth reclaiming and growing and enshrining. We must reclaim our earth, our land, our heart.
We must insist Australia be a community not just an economy. Resist the rhetoric and policies that measure success in dollars and deny people the possibility of life and happiness.
We must be prepared to pay the price ourselves and give up some of our accumulated riches- money, energy, time, comfort. For change cannot come without personal cost.
We must stand up, speak up, peacefully act up.
It will cost us.
And when it goes against the grain we can think of those who lost all and of who will be next. We can appreciate now the humanity of our refugees who had already suffered and lost all in coming to us for help. People just like us.
And we can look at our politicians cocooned in their ivory towers of personal wealth and power and self-righteousness and say NO.
We can join the warriors for truth, reality, fair go for all and compassion for the suffering.
We can stand up, speak up and peacefully and determinately act up.
This is our chance for an Australia we can enjoy and be proud of.
Come on Aussi, come on.
by Sr Jane Keogh csb