disaster outside my backyard

In four hours time the most destructive cyclone ever will hit Northern Queensland coastal communities. Winds of more than 300 kms are expected, and tidal surges the height of a two storey building.
Even communities hundreds of kilometres inland are at risk of flooding.

Several hours ago I wrote the previous post. I was satisfied when I finished it, published it and felt happy that a short while later there were three validating responses.

Then I listened to the news and was shocked at the triviality of my post. Whilst I was involved in narcissistic perceptions of my garden, people at the other end of Australia were being evacuated from their homes to prepare for the onslaught of the biggest cyclone ever to hit Australia in living memory.

While I was pondering the effects of a bit of heat on my garden, others miles away were extremely fearful about the destruction
expected along the North Queensland coast. And not just about damage to property. It may even entail loss of life. Certainly it will entail the disruption of normal life for a long time to come.

At times like this I am aware of my garden as both aesthetic object and refuge. The danger is that I get so wrapped up in what is happening in my own backyard that I can shut out what is happening elsewhere.

Maybe there are both benefits and problems in suburban spaces. Suburbia can too easily become a protective shell, and I as much as anybody else can get lost in that.

I don't usually write two posts on the same day but today is no ordinary day.


  1. I know what you mean, I am worrying about trivial things compared to what the flood victims are coping with too.

  2. Hmm... I have a hard time getting my thoughts straight about this. I felt very bad in the floods talking about my trivial vegetables, but to be honest, I question if stopping my life and not doing the things I enjoy would really help anyone.

    I'll try and put it another way.

    I have a son who has regular visits to a specialist in hospital. Every time we go for tests or operations, I feel it is very traumatic and I get very upset. Every time I am there however, I see children who are far far worse off than my son, and I realise his small problems are not that big a deal. But that doesn't stop me from feeling badly about his situation.

    Does that make any sense at all?

    By the way, I love the image for this post. When it's put like that, it does seem very clear that we are each wrapped up in our own little worlds.

  3. I felt the same way. Here I am complaining about the heat in Adelaide. When there are more frightening things other people has to go through at this moment.

  4. You are right, but we are human and life is relative. Our thougts go to those poor people in Queensland though.

  5. What may happen in Queensland is creeping round the back of my head as a kind of drone. What is happening in Egypt and what may happen in Jordan jumps from place to place. There's a mush of knowing about all sorts of other dangers and sufferings pressed down and padded aside.

    It would be wrong to forget; but not valuing the small things in life would be wrong too. It's like keeping a flame.


  6. Good Morning Catmint . . . afternoon to you. Do not be too hard on yourself but you raise very pertinent points. The photo says it all! Very powerful with your words. I do hope all will not be so bad as expected. Here we are having what might be an historic storm of ice and snow. Piles and piles of it but that is nothing to a cyclone! I do pray for your land, wildlife and peoples.

  7. I think we feel guilty that we are OK whilst others are really suffering. However, I also think that there is so much awful stuff happening in the world that we need to seek some form of refuge and like you losing myself in the garden is my way of coping

  8. Dear Catmint, It is quite true that some events really do make our worlds spin on their axis and nothing ever is the same again. News reports here in the UK do make very alarming listening and one's thoughts are indeed with anyone who might be caught in the wake of the Cyclone.

    I do so agree that we need to 'look beyond our own backyard', but I also feel that if we can make our own corner of the world that bit more pleasant or bring happiness to those around us then we are shaping the world for the better in a small way.

  9. It does feel strange to think they are so many things going on in the world and yet we continue our life as normal.

  10. thank your dear cyberfriends for your support and your wisdom.
    cheers, catmint

  11. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your people as many are picking up the pieces and trying to find some semblance of sanity right now.

  12. My gardener's heart is with you and all the Australians clobbered by this.

    We are all one.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island


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