Wednesday, 11 March 2015
What's not Safe?
The question came because we were talking about the Cape Fires of last week. My house down there is in one of the suburbs that was hit with the horrendous fires. My house isn't on the outskirts of the village, so safer, but still hard to live with the stress and potential risk of the houses burning there as they did in neighboring suburbs. Being surrounded by a fierce and brutal fire over which you have no control can be a terrifying thing. And I met a lot of terrified villagers during that time. I was calmer. Easier for me - it's a guest house I own, and not my permanent home, so I could think about the insurance claim and rebuild I would have to do, rather than the loss of everything I have. And I was moved by the incredible fight the firefighters were bringing to the fire to protect us. And so saddened by the death of one of the helicopter pilots that crashed while fighting another fire a few days after saving our village.
I went out into the bush a few days after the fires, just to see what destruction had been caused. It was mind blowing. I took the photo in this blog entry up at Silver Mines where quite a few dwellings had burned down. The devastation was brutal to see. That world is usually thick with green and beautiful rare fynbos. You could never see the ground. And now - stalks and sand. I could feel myself reading the metaphor for how my burning by John-the-Narc fire had left me like this. Bereft. Empty. No real clue of life anywhere. A sad and desolate husk. That landscape felt like my life.
But the interesting thing is that fynbos need burning to rejuvenate. That landscape has an incredible seed bank underneath the sand, and the burning of the fire is just what they need to begin again. Within a few months, when the rains come, there will emerge a wondrously rich and new landscape again. I think that metaphor fits with me too. A lot of me needed burning in the Narc fire. It was horrible. But necessary. Death to facilitate rebirth.
The clouds are around me. know the rain will come soon. Already I feel my re-birthing seeds swelling in their pods. I am still grieving the death of my previous life - nightmares still come to torture me with images of John returning - whether to abuse me, or to soothe me, or to manipulate me at work. Sometimes I invite him in. Sometimes I fight him. But never, even in my dreams, do I forget the burning. That will remain with me always.
So I'm not safe yet. I have moments of it. Where I am holding myself strong and solid. But I'm still bruised. Recovering. Emerging.
It's been 10 months since my burning. New shoots coming through all over the place.