The drought and flooding plains.


I used to love the rain. The soft pitter patter on the roof would bring relief from a hot, sticky day. It would wash away the drought-induced dust that would cling to the weatherboard house and nourish the dry, grey grass in the back yard. It reminded me of my childhood where I grew up in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. The rains would come in small doses each afternoon, just enough to annoint the the long grasses and banana trees, just enough to soak into the soil and ensure a healthy crop of taro, sweet potato and sugar cane. It was beautiful, calming, healthy.
But since the floods one year ago, my feelings towards rain have changed. As I sit here and watch the droplets fall to the ground I still hear the beauty of the rains, but I also see those small drops gather and flow across the grass, along the roads and flow into the swollen, rushing creeks. It makes me nervous. The flooding last year devastated large portions of South East Queensland. And now there is flooding happening again on the outskirts of Brisbane at the moment. The same broken faces are shown on the television, showing a year of wear in their wrinkles, their houses again under the waterline.
I don’t wish for the rains to go away, neither do I wish for 10 years of draining drought. I know there must be balance within nature, and a natural ebb and flow of the patterns in weather. I just hope one day we strike a finer balance.

My Country, 2nd Verse
By Dorothea Mackeller

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding plains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

(photo above taken at my back door, of the rains last year, a few days before ‘the peak’. )