I’ve started the year with a whole bundle of emotions. Heartbreak over the destruction and loss of homes, lives, livestock and wildlife. Sheer amazement at the effort, dedication and determination of the fire fighters (how they do that every day I have no idea) and the wildlife rescuers. Inspiration over the fundraising efforts of people like Celeste Barber – that’s nothing short of amazing, and the #buyfromthebush, #gowithemptyeskys, #spendwiththem and #onedayclosertorain campaigns!

A full heart hearing of the stories of mates helping mates, neighbours looking out for each other, strangers helping people in need. And finally, despair over the helplessness that I feel.

What I am seeing is a whole groundswell of people being kind and people calling for change to the way we’re managing our land.

I wonder what this will bring.

I wonder at the long term impact of these fires. How will these communities ever rebuild? What effect will it have on the firies and those on the front line? How will our farmers survive? Will our flora and fauna survive and regenerate? How will our landscape change?

In my business, I wonder about the mortgage stress that this will create.

In my family, we’re going to donate to some of the appeals and I’m going to take Tegan Weber’s advice and plan a road trip and spend my money in these local communities. I’m going to #spendwiththem and buy goods from fire affected businesses. That’s how I’m going to do my part in helping them rebuild – because they need us now – and they’ll need us tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

If you’ve been affected by fires, my heart goes out to you. If you’re expecting mortgage stress, please get in touch. If you’re thanking your lucky stars that you’ve only got smoke and ash to deal with, then I hope you’ll join me in helping our fire-ravaged communities rebuild.

If you want to know more about #gowithemptyeskys, here is Tegan’s call to action.