Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new epoch

This morning I woke to the sound of the sky growling with thunderstorms. It was punctuated by fat raindrops thwacking sporadically against the roof, but they soon dried up.

The early edition newspapers told the story …. 26 people confirmed dead, and another 15 unaccounted for, in the worst day of bushfires in living memory. 100 homes destroyed at last count and they’re readying for more to go up today.

I’m at work now, though it’s Sunday, preparing material on the relief measures available to our customers. From my eyrie here at the top of the building, I can see lacy threads of smoke drifting across the horizon – it’s beautiful and horrific at the same time.

It’s clearly going to be a year of extremes in 2009.

Extreme temperatures, extreme fires, extreme droughts, extreme floods. And of course the ongoing global financial crisis – or, as people are calling it now, the GFC; which makes it sound all cute and anodyne and reminds me of Roald Dahl’s story about the lumbering BFG (Big Friendly Giant), only it's not – the worst period of economic activity since the Depression, the stockmarket fluctuating wildly, and companies all over the world collapsing and cannibalising each other.

It feels as though there's a commanding force afoot, recalibrating the world for a new age.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Tis very sad news about the fires and deaths down your way. I assume you are in Melbourne proper, so therefore relatively safe from the ravages, but still, the heat has been so bad for you and it is a strange time. Watching the news tonight and there are fires in NSW and VIC and floods in QLD. Very odd.
Thank you for your congratulations, we are very excited and it is about time! However, August does not seem that far away!!
Hope you are well.