Over the last two years, life on our planet has suffered. We have had our lives turned upside-down in nearly every country in the world. Here in Australia we have coped with drought, devastation from fires, then floods, then the pandemic, which included border closures and business lock-downs. After beginning to rise from these catastrophes, we were hit once again by floods throughout the eastern seaboard. Electricity, Internet and mobile phone services were curtailed and supplies in the shops almost non-existent. Overseas travel just not available. Roving reporters went from place to place reporting on the destruction.
Elsewhere in the world, deaths from the Corona virus were horrific, and then some suffered with erupting volcanoes, political upheaval and even landslides and earthquakes. Life certainly hasn’t been easy.
But humans continue to survive. Rally against what is thrown at them, and still live with hope. The story that follows, inspired by the water colour painting by Lynnetta McGrath, is to show us, that whatever happens, tomorrow is another day. That life can flourish against adversity, and there is never a time when giving-up should be the way out.
The silhouette of the palm tress in the dying moments of the day reminded Felicity of the fires. She bowed her head and tears began to prickle her eyes. She had lost it all – her home, her family and her memories – all gone in an instant by a roaring monster of unbelievable heat. She wished Dan and the kids hadn’t decided to stay.
She sat quietly on her deckchair in the park and watched the sun disappear below the horizon, the tears finally tracking down her cheeks, the mozzies* enjoying a feast on her bare arms, and the sound of the music in the distance not penetrating her hearing.
How could she be in such a lovely spot, when her reasons for being had gone, her family burnt and her home left as a smoldering ruin? Now, not only was she in northern Queensland because her grief councillor had told her to move away to clear her head and come to some sort of acceptance of her situation, but now she couldn’t go home – the border to N.S.W. and her parents property had been slammed shut.
She took another gulp of the rum drink in her right hand.
A young girl wandered past and smiled shyly at Felicity. Felicity smiled back, though it was a bit difficult. The girl came towards her.
“You look sad,” the young girl commented.
“Yes,” Felicity whispered.
The little girl came towards her and placed a warm hand on her arm, batting away a mozzie Felicity hadn’t even known was there.
‘I was sad, too,” the little girl said. “My Daddy passed away last year, and then I found out I had cancer. Mu Mummy looked just like you do now.”
“But then I fought and fought, and my Mummy had to help me. Now I am better, and I enjoy every day, and so does Mummy,” The little girl smiled as a woman came up to Felicity.
“I hope Gail isn’t bothering you,” she said.
Felicity shook her head.
“No – It was just the message I needed to hear,” Felicity took a deep breath and smiled.
And so began a wonderful friendship, and the glimmer of hope that was able to grow.
My children’s books offer hope, and friendship. If you have little ones, it is always a good idea to teach those qualities early in life. Most of my books are either chapter books or picture books. They sell for $18 AU and added postage if you are outside of Australia. I try to teach a lesson in all my book, and often talk about endangered animals as well as giving teachers ideas for projects in the back of my picture books.