This is Summer in Australia… So many weather threats. If it is not flood, it’s fire, and at this time there is an area the size of France alight in temperatures of over 40 degrees C!
Many of the fronts are out of control.
We see people evacuating, leaving it too late as usual. Concerns exist that the abandoned home may have less chancery avoid damage or looting, but evidence shows that is not the case. Human survival at its rawest is the paramount consideration.
But if you have to evacuate, what would you take? It goes without saying that the kids and the pets have to be taken to a safe place, but what else? Photos? Deeds and other documents? Credit cards so you can buy food and clothing would be needed, and if not too many, the photos of a lifetime are another popular choice. But in my case that would require a trip to the attic, too hot in a fire emergency.
Bushfire behaves in a strange way sometimes, razing some houses to the bare earth and leaving others hardly singed in the midst of desolation. Oddly, timber houses are not necessarily worse off, nor are mud brick homes known to collapse completely. Like pottery, they may even be strengthened by a fire! God moves in mysterious ways.
So whatever you choose to take is a real reflection of who and where we are at that crisis time. I would certainly take any medical or law degrees…or would I? They, of all things, are probably the easiest to verify later, which only goes to show how I identify with my profession!
But as I look around my home tonight I realise that although I have many treasures, I would leave them all behind if I had to save my family. When you have nothing left, you have nothing left to lose, at a material level at least. So the Buddhist idea of non-attachment to ‘things’ is probably very valuable for our psychological survival in a crisis.
We have heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember it’s all small stuff”. Do we behave like this is our non-crisis life? Or do we react with hurt, anger, shame? Probably. So maybe we need to shelve our own ego reaction and let others’ decisions roll around us. After all, if our house was on fire, none of that matters. Only the love we have for our family members matters. I forgive all the hurts, and hope that I am likewise forgiven.