The Silence of 2020


Crows Nest National Park – photo taken by Dan

This morning I woke to 2020 and noticed the silence. Nothing too unusual about that. We live on the outskirts of Toowoomba where there is open space across the road and no neighbours right on our fences. Last night was New Years Eve so the revellers are probably still asleep. But then I remembered the silence of last night.

It has been some time since I actually saw the New Year in. I am getting a little old for partying all night. But even when I have been tucked up in bed, I am usually still woken at the strike of midnight by happy cheers and a rousing chorus of Happy New Year.


Not this year. I didn’t hear a thing. Now it might be that my neighbours are the quiet unpartying type too. Or perhaps I am getting a little hard of hearing. However even though my neighbours are not right on my doorstep, I do hear them occasionally during the day. Especially the children. Not last night.

For the beginning of a new year and a new decade, the mood here is somewhat subdued. Sombre. Bush fires have been ravaging our nation on a scale many have labelled apocalyptic. Scorched earth, blazing red skies, homes and towns reduced to rubble. Over 1000 homes have been lost. The death toll is approaching 20 and expected to rise. Emergency services are stretched to the limit. And the fires continue to burn.

Our hearts are torn. A new year is a time for celebrating. A new decade even more. How can we celebrate when fellow Australians have lost everything? How can we cheer when their New Year is filled with tragedy, despair and uncertainty? With the bushfire season in full swing, the beginning of 2020 looks bleak.



Yet amongst the smoke, ash and rubble there is hope. The courage and selflessness of our fire fighters, putting their lives on the line to save others, are an inspiration to us all.  The volunteers who tirelessly provide meals, supplies and behind the scenes support show how we can pull together in a crisis. And in time, we will see a blackened earth renewed with new growth and communities rebuild. From the ashes of tragedy, our spirit will rise to demonstrate the courage and true grit that lies beneath our skin.

There is no doubt that there are big challenges ahead and the future may be clouded with uncertainty, but there are things that we can hold onto for a brighter new year.

That we are stronger when we stand together.

That joy can be found in the little things.

And that there is always hope.

May your 2020 be filled with hope, courage and joy





6 thoughts on “The Silence of 2020

  1. Beautifully put. It was very quite last night, still awake at midnight (waiting for a daughter to come home), I was surprised to notice the time was 2minutes past midnight the neighbourhood was so quite. May 2020 bring you much success and happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen,
    Those of us here in the U.S. get very little information about what is happening in AU. I know more than most because of my work and clients I have in AU & NZ as well as regular contact with the Cook Islands. Also, unfortunately our President is doing his best to isolate us from the rest of the world. But please know that he does NOT speak for all Americans. In fact, he speaks for very few of us.
    The same people who care about what happens to people in other countries are still here and Mr. Trump’s time in office will be coming to an end one way or the other in the near future—either via impeachment or the next election.
    The most powerful right we have is freedom of the press. We need to hear more about what people are dealing with in your country so those of us who want to help will be able to do so.
    A good start would be a list of groups (or their websites) for people to donate funds and/or needed materials for those affected by wildfires and other disasters. Please know that there are many people here who do care about what happens there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Karen – I’ve been thinking about you and others in Australia as I’ve been reading about these awful fires – the destruction is stunning. The loss of life and homes is just heartbreaking. Sending you and your loved ones my thoughts for safety and security. I hope that we as humans can work together to find good solutions to these types of problems, for the sake of all! I think we can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lorraine. Thankfully we haven’t been personally threatened here in Toowoomba, although my sister was on evacuation alert in New South Wales. I agree, we can find solutions, if we can put our differences aside and put our minds together. Hope you had a safe and Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

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