Dear Big Scrub Rainforest,
It’s been almost a year since the fires tore through your form for the first time in known history. A year. It feels like a lifetime, given what else 2020 has offered, but to you it probably feels like seconds ago. In your time, you have witnessed a range of beauty and destruction, the logging and deforestation that left only 1% of your form left in 1900 to the magical sounds to cicadas and frogs every day. Were these fires just another bump in your continual existence? Or is this the continuation of your imminent extinction?
It’s moments like these that make you wonder what we are doing if we aren’t breathing life back into your remnants. If you go, what do we have?
When I come home and visit you, I instantly feel alive again. In a second, you put my life into perspective, a sense of relief always overcomes me. The cool air, the fresh smell, the blaring sounds insects, and most of all, the lack of material items. I have always sort comfort from you, all my life. You have always been there. What happens if you’re not there for my kids, or grandkids? Will they ever understand the sense of calm and resilience that you possess? What if they never feel this connection to place? This grounding and connection to place is the reason I am who I am, without you I would be lost.
The fires showed me what we will lose if we don’t do more to save you and the climate. As many things do, the fires made me angry. Angry that we don’t care enough. Angry that we have let you become so vulnerable and sick. Angry that your traditional owners aren’t able to heal you in their own way.
I don’t know what to expect from writing to you. I hope this message could change your history and future. Help you heal and become resilient in the face of human colonial destruction.
I will continue to fight for you. But for now, I write you this with love and a heavy heart.
Contributed by Mia Dunphy