Sunday, January 16, 2011

"This weather may have broken our hearts...."*

A certain conversation has repeated itself in our house this week.
The Man arrives home from work.

Him: What have you been up to today?
Me: Not much.

And it's true. I have done nothing much this week except sit on the couch and watch the rolling coverage of the floods that have swept across Queensland. Unable to move as images of unfathomable destruction fill the screen. Incomprehensible images of heroism. Heartbreak.

Image via

I've always been intrigued by the question "What would you grab in an emergency??"
Y'know- it's the kinda question you'd find in the glossy magazine inserted into the weekend newspaper. You'd probably find it in an article that runs along the lines of "5 minutes with person of Dubious Celebrity Status."
However, this week that question stopped being a hypothetical for many.

I think I've always been intrigued by this question because it asks me to confront and question how I would react in such an extreme circumstance.

In one newspaper this week, they presented portraits of flood-affected people and asked them what they had grabbed as the waters approached. One man had just grabbed his wallet. One woman had grabbed everything she could possibly fit in the car. One young man simply answered, "Each other."

Concurrently this week, I have also been wading through hundreds of photos from our wedding. Debating with myself, "Should I put these in albums?" "Should I get some printed and put in frames?" And as I debate, I look at the pictures and brilliant memories of awesome happiness, fun and frivolity come sweeping over me.

For me, the events of this week have driven one thing home.
Life is about doing things, not having things.
It's all about creating memories and storing them safely in your mind.

And so I found my answer to that question.
In the face of an emergency, as long as I was safe in the knowledge that my loved ones were safe, I wouldn't have to 'grab' anything. Material things don't matter. Memories do.

* The title for this post was borrowed from a speech made by QLD's Premier, Anna Bligh. Sometimes you want your politicians to stand up and be Leaders. Respect, Anna. You're a true leader.

Dig deep and donate to the relief efforts.

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