20km in two minutes – Death & Life

Posted on February 13, 2009

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The image that launched a worldwide bushfire appeal. I can imagine a mad rush of foreign tourists visiting Australia in the aftermath of the fire.

The image that launched a worldwide bushfire appeal. I can imagine a mad rush of foreign tourists visiting Australia in the aftermath of the fire.

These last few nights, while plugging away at paperwork and singing Celine Dion as badly as I can, I’ve kept my eyes glued to the disastrous and catastrophic Victorian firestorms that has quickly become a horror story many magnitudes over.

Readers risk a whole gamut of emotions reading the human interest stories. I shed a few tears as I read the triumphant stories of life, felt nauseous as I visualized the last moments of a doomed family and turned pale as I thought how quickly those fires enveloped and engulfed entire communities.

Sadness turned to anger. A tragic loss of life, and nothing could be done to prevent it.

How can I, sitting here in the comfort of my own room in the comforts of metropolitan Melbourne, possibly grasp the scale of destruction and death?.

No, I can’t. The fires, in any direction, are over an hour away from most Melburnians. But you’d be a savage not to feel any emotions at all.

It’s truly frightening. Those fires travelled 20km in two minutes. Unless you’re in a drag race or fitted in a specially-built racing car, your chances of survival are zero.

Victims would not have saw or heard it coming. At that speed, I hope their torment was brief.

Acts of madness and the throbbing veins of fun might sound like a fun ride, but murder is what those arseholes have committed. If caught, they deserve to rot in jail forever.

Juxtapose the death and destruction with my impending marriage, and I can’t help but feel I’ve been taking the wedding – the planning bits at least – too seriously.

At the end of the day, it’s not how much money Michele and me have spent or how much effort we’ve put into making sure everything goes smoothly.

It’s all about having one another, being there for each other and realising life is short. Treasure what we have and what we have had. Good things don’t last forever as they can be taken from you as quickly as those fires.

I love you Michele, and I can’t wait to spend my life with you. The big day can’t come soon enough.

Image from The Age.

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