Preserves

IMG_1783I’ve been preserving. Bottling and drying Summer’s gentle form of energy – plums, tomatoes, peaches and zucchini. They’re resting in the larder – a little smugly perhaps, or is that me? It feels pretty good, you see, squirrelling it all away – preparing for the (supposedly) hungry months ahead. Though we had enough cauliflower to feed a suburb last Winter.  It’s not our immediate food security that fills me with the sort of warmth a pulse-laden soup does on a finger-chill evening. No, that beany warmth comes from the quiet pride in having produced this trove from the soil I’ve nurtured in our new home. It’s the fruition of a journey, if you will. And I’m preserving it. Keeping it for a future that daily seems more certain – as though the bounty in the cupboard ensures our steady progress. Although, in truth, the act of preserving probably reflects our growth more than that of the fruit.

This Friday will mark five years since Black Saturday. I hope you, too, have something to preserve.

Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door or something else (!) and tell us what it means for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Mending buttons

Mending buttonsI was just mending an errant underwire when I noticed an unopened packet of ‘mending buttons’ in the tub that now serves as a sewing basket. I vaguely recall buying the buttons in the first months after the fire. I guess I figured there might be a button emergency or perhaps they would be useful for the kids’ craft. I thought of the sewing basket I’d had since a child – frayed but still serviceable and the gorgeous large brown jar of buttons that had been my mother’s and hers before that. These objects reflect life’s patina. My home is warm, friendly, light, airy and filled with comfortable and beautiful objects but it doesn’t have its patina. There are only four and a half years of our history here. We belong but something is missing.

I’m thinking of those who have lost their homes in the latest fires. They are dealing with the enormous practical task of day to day living after finding yourself suddenly homeless, with your objects gone. Where will we sleep? How do we replace our documents? How do I charge my phone? I don’t have any clothes. I’ve lost all my prescriptions. There’s no tampons in the cupboard. Thankfully these current fires haven’t left people with the questions ‘Are they alive?’ ‘What’s happened to my GP?’. They will grapple with replacing the essentials, finding somewhere to live, negotiating work, fractious relationships and the behemoth that is traumatic grief.

I hope they, too, will one day have the space to reflect on something as small as a jar of buttons and realise how they have healed and will continue to do so.

Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

 

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door or something else (!) and tell us what it means for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kathy’s front door

I lost my front door on 7 February 2009 – Black Saturday, along with the rest of the house to which it was attached. I remember being intrigued that such solid objects could be reduced to just the thick film of ash that carpeted the ground. When I lost my front door, I lost a sense of who I was and where I belonged. The welcoming act of opening your door to family and friends was no longer possible. There was no way in to that place of security and comfort that had sheltered me for the last thirty years. That place no longer existed. I was adrift without an anchor.

The rebuilding process has been a long one. As with any journey, we completed it step-by-step. Now we are in our new house. As each day passes, this house is gradually becoming our home. Our new front door is different. It is special. There are two doors, creating a wider opening to the world. The dark burgundy colour of the door contrasts with the light sandstone blocks of the walls. The curved glass inserts capture the light of the afternoon sun, wrapping it warmly around you like comforting arms. No longer adrift, I am where I belong.

Kathy Stewart.

Thanks Kathy, for your words and the photo of your new front door. Contributions like yours help us all to learn of others’ experiences and connect.

Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door and tell us what it means for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

I am my front door

Since Black Saturday when my family members became silent, were missing, then gone I have discovered more fully and with deeper sense of self and satisfaction how to be my own front door.

MY SENSE OF SPACE AND PLACE
HAS BEEN SO FUNDAMENTALLY ALTERED
THAT
-I AM MY FRONT DOOR –

Discovering this has been a positive change…sometimes the journey on the other side of my front door looks like this photo…
 
Attached were two photographs.
 
In the first R sits in front of a carved tree laden with the yellow ribbons of remembrance to those lost in the fires. Her eyes reveal her sadness, her grief close to the surface – fresh, raw.
 
The second photograph shows R in front of a burnished timber wall, she is smiling, her posture relaxed and her eyes twinkle. A moment of recovery.
 
In both images her clothes are the same.
 
From R: ‘The happy photo and the taxed photo are to me both images of the resilience of my own front door. They are photos that capture some of the experience from both sides of the front door. The irony is that it is like a door on a pivot – both photos could equally be the front door as the world sees it from the outside or as I feel it from the inside.’

 

Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

 
You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door and tell us what it means for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sculptured trees

I’ve moved away from tall trees and bushland but miss that beautiful town that once was Marysville. I am in my new house now, though I still can’t call it my home – yet. My daughter is a silversmith and sculptress so she made these steel trees for my front door. It reminds me of the trees which surrounded my lost home and symbolizes a new beginning.

 

Pam Ellis

Thanks Pam, for the picture of your lovely blue door with its treed adornment.

Welcome. Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door and tell us what it means for you?

We look forward to hearing from you.

My front door became my back door after the fire

When the fire struck here, I retreated inside as I had planned after doing the 6 hour outside preparation that the Churchill fire allowed me. My focus was now on the doors and windows of my stone and steel house, which I was sure would protect me, but which I knew I had to help get through. I watched as tracer fire bullets streamed past on one set of windows, a wall of flame maintaining itself on the forest side of the house, and into the cyclone on the leading side. As windows cracked I prepared to retreat, but none broke in. My front door showered sparks from its gaps onto the cork floor, and a flame snaked in under the door. No wet towel; no water inside; cistern, done; might have been 10 seconds. When the house filled with smoke, I ventured outside, and went around to throw a bucket of water at my door. Then a bucket of water at a barge board just alight. And then a long wait, but no billowing smoke or flames. The house was ok.

The builder who did repairs fitted the front door to the back, a bit smaller now and with its wound shaved off. I carefully fixed its gaps, both old and new, cleaned off its carbon dustings and gave it a new coat.

It’s a pretty useful door.

Thanks to John, of Hazelwood North, for his Front Door story. His resilient door serves both as a reminder of the past and as a marker for new beginnings.

Front Door is your space. If you were affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box. You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

 Why don’t you send us a photo of your front door and tell us what it means for you? Or share your observations about Spring where you are now.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Spring outside my door

snow bud
heralds
Winter’s end

Spring is early. I’m not referring to the effects of Climate Change. Spring is early since I now live near sea level. It’s warmer down here. Morning fog lifts by lunchtime instead of quietly enveloping the earth for days.

Spring growth is triggered either by the lengthening daylight or by warming temperature. Some species respond to the change in light, others to warmth. And yet all the plants in my suburban garden seem to be early. Well, earlier than when I lived on the mountain…Perhaps it is the fog. Days spent in the clouds obscuring the lengthening light.

I’m enjoying gardening down here. My vegies have grown all Winter – a harvest of green. Their growth has not paused, nor has mine. My regeneration continues, I can feel my sap rising – waiting for Spring.

Why don’t you send us a photo of something outside your front door, or an image of Spring. Tell us what Spring means for you…

Front Door is your space. If you have been affected by bushfire, we would love to hear from you, wherever you are now.

You can participate in many ways.
 
You can comment on this post by clicking on the speech balloon or the reply box (at the bottom of the page). You don’t have to give your name but to prevent spam you will need to add an email address (this will not be published). If you would like to send us photos, video, words to upload onto the site we would be extra pleased.

You can contact us through our Facebook page or our contact form. If you use the contact form your thoughts will remain private unless you specifically give us permission to post them. You won’t be able to upload media but we’ll be able to provide you with an email address to do so if you’d like. And we’d love it if you would!

We look forward to hearing from you.