Monday, January 28, 2013

I Love My Country

My Country
Dorothea Mackellar
(1885 - 1968)

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

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die-
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
I do love my country but it is a very harsh place to live with its extremes of temperatures and frequent threats from bush fires, floods and droughts. We are experiencing many of these extreme conditions across Australia again with many people losing their homes to either fires or floods in 5 of our 7 States. These events are still unfolding so their impact is unknown at this stage but we do know that many of these people were just getting their lives together after the last floods and fires we had 2 years ago, only to have their homes and businesses severely affected again.What can we do to help? I will be making and donating as many quilts as possible to the  survivors of these events but I can't give definite directions about where these quilts will be distributed until I have reliable and trustworthy local contacts who will deliver the quilts and blankets to those in need. I never send to large organizations as they may stockpile them or even sell them to raise money and this is not how I wish these quilts to be used. They should be used to bring comfort to those who will return home to a stinking mess caused by the flood waters or to no home if theirs has burnt down. Of course many of these people will be homeless which will also impact on the available resources which are already stretched thin and I don't want to forget the many people who were already homeless or needy before these events. How can you help? If you have any time and some scraps of batting and fabric and are able to make some QAYG blocks to 10.5" finished size then I will be happy to construct the quilts and get them delivered. The instructions are still on the sidebar of my blog and even if you only have time to make 1 or 2 these will all help to make quilts to bring comfort to those who have experienced such loss again. Thanks fully the loss of life isn't as great as previous events but there have been deaths as a result of these natural disasters and I pray that there will not be more reported. As most Australians have grown up with Dorothea Mackellar's poem about Australia, she gives us a timely reminder that we live in a country of great beauty but also very harsh conditions and having endured drought for 10 years now we are back to floods and fires again. I was planning to work on some of my quilting projects but this is more important so I'll be  getting some of my UFOs finished to donate as well as making more, many more QAYG quilts. Does anyone want to help? My address for donations is on my sidebar too and I hope these communities recover and our support will bring some comfort and joy to know that they are not alone in dealing with these events again. Hugs, Jan Mac


grey-blue distance


willywagtail said...

I will definitely be trying to get something together for you. Thankyou for all your efforts. I find it heartbreaking that blogland by and large goes by without even a mention towards these catastrophes unless they are actually being affected themselves. Maybe we are becoming immune by their continuing presence. Chookyblue who lives near the Coonabarabran fires where over 50 homes were lost is also collecting and will know where to take any to in her region. Thanks Jan. Cherrie

Maria said...

I will get either some blocks or quilts together for you over the next few weeks...
Have sent some to Tassie and NSW for the fires...
I am only too happy to sew for my fellow Aussies in need..
Keep up the great work you do .

kaiteM said...

As you know i've counted myself in already Jan, you are an inspiring team leader.

Jan Mac said...

Thanks you all for your kind words and offers of donations. They will all help to get more quilts donated to those in need.
Hugs, Jan