Roof of the world

Gotta get it all done before Christmas is a refrain that I hear so often. Never sure why, because as far as I can tell, the world isn’t going to end on the 26th December. It’s probably so people can go into their break feeling like they have left nothing behind.

Working in this industry, this is not a break time. With heatwaves expected in the south, and cyclones in the north west, Christmas is possibly anything but restful, or peaceful for some. Lots of people talk about the “disaster season”. We try not to encourage that as they can happen any time, but you have to admit it’s a time that is busier. When others are loving the mercury rising, I get a feeling of trepidation. Languid summers are a thing of the distant past.

And, in this year that has challenged us on many fronts; bringing a greater uncertainty. More and more evil preying on the minds of the disaffected, disengaged, the jilted, and the unwell, the humble truck becoming a weapon of mass destruction and terror, in places of celebration and enjoyment. The horror of the destruction of Aleppo, wars have laws. These people, and they are people, like you and me, cannot just go back to where they came from. Have we not learned from Sarajevo?

To the unravelling of our institutions, as our political systems congeal around a Machiavellian nothingness, and politicians who looks good and say nothing, the fringes emerge, and we have Brexit, Trump, and who knows what next.

Losing major cultural icons, Bowie, Prince, Cohen. Sure they might be “pop stars” but they are more than that. They represent meaning for us, a way of reflecting who we are, at a point and place in time, expressing perhaps, what cannot be expressed.

You read all this and think, what a shit year. It would be easy to get down. But, I spent two days this week in one of my favourite places, on the roof of this country, Mt Feathertop, with my daughter. And when we stood on the summit at sundown on Monday night, and looked out over the Victorian Alps, as the blue ranges, heaped upon blue ranges, and sky glowing tangerine, strong winds blowing in your face, you come alive. It takes you away. And to see the joy and sense of wonder on Amy’s face at what she was experiencing was priceless. Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for reading and indulging me, see you in the new year, there is much to make sense of.

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