Home' Nova National : June 2011 Contents disasters; I am just trying to examine the
flip side of the coin.
Let me explain...
The recent floods in my hometown
of Brisbane brought up for me a lot of
fear of the unknown, fear for my loved
The Energy of Love
The Brisbane floods in January brought home to Emma Forsberg, in a very personal way,
the healing power of love.
Ifeel sorry for anybody who is yet to
experience a natural disaster and
come out unscathed. No, really, I do.
I am not trying to trivialise or min-
imise the pain and grief felt by so many
who have lost loved ones in recent
ones and fears about the future.
The air seemed electrified with fear;
it seemed to permeate all around me. I
was also frustrated and annoyed that my
cosy and ignorant existence was being
pulled out from underneath me. My life
was being interrupted on a grand scale.
How dare the rain do that?
I found it was the uncertainty of the
situation and not knowing what would be
the outcome that scared me the most.
After waiting two days for the
floodwaters to rise, my mother and I
went to inspect any damage to the home
where she lives alone in Fairfield, which
is close to the Brisbane River.
I don't think either of us really believed
it was happening, as flooding was
completely out of the realm of our
experience. Looking back, I realise it
was also a way to protect ourselves from
shock, by pretending everything was as
it had always been. Seeing my mother's
10 © NOVA JUNE 2011
house under water was actually a relief,
as we then knew the scenario with which
we were dealing. We knew where we must
start and we could no longer imagine
It was, of course, heartbreaking. As we
drove to my mother's house to inspect
the damage for the first time, a few times
she forgot where she was, like she was
driving around in a foreign city, even
though she'd driven that route a million
times before. I guess she didn't want to
see what awaited her. She didn't want to
know, or reach her destination.
We got there in the end, to be greeted
by water still submerging the bottom half
of the house. The watermarks told us that
the water had crept up almost to the top
of the driveway, putting at least a metre of
the top of the house under water as well.
It felt so eerie, standing there in the
dark that night with our torches. The
water felt so deep and so still; so calmly
destructive, like the Goddess Kali herself.
I'd expected the water to be clear for
some reason, but it was full of mud, dirt
and the pollution of a city. Rubbish,
children's toys and teddies, batteries,
cockroach baits, sewerage, you name it,
all floating in a big brown stew of water.
Water that had made itself welcome in my
mother 's home; creeping under doors
and through cracks like only water can. It
still amazes me how much damage water
is capable of creating.
My mother lost most of her material
possessions, as did her boarder, but she
was safe and alive and so were her loved
ones. It really emphasised to us that all
that mattered was that we were all safe.
Material possessions can be replaced; lives
Throughout the flood crisis I strugg-
led to find meaning amid the tragedy. I
kept asking myself, why do we have to
go through this? What is the lesson? Of
course I couldn't figure it out at the time.
Hindsight is always such a gift.
During the floods I asked my angels
to protect my mother's house from the
floodwaters; they didn't. I believe they'd
already tried to protect my mother,
although she may disagree. A couple of
months before the flood my mother had
experienced an overwhelming urge to
sell her house, downsize and move to the
country, where she'd be closer to me and
her granddaughter. I hadn't seen her so
excited for quite some time. She put the
house on the market, but after a couple
'The water felt so deep and so still; so calmly destructive,
like the Goddess Kali herself.'
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