Chase the sunshine

From Fallon Drewett, The Just Saying Project

There are thousands of Mackay and Whitsunday residents who have been left in the dark, with no thanks to the super cranky Cyclone Debbie. I have never seen a storm quite like her, not only did she furiously lash out – she would not leave us alone.

The slow moving path of destruction that was Cyclone Debbie had the Mackay and Whitsunday regions at the end of her powerful force.  We have been flooded, batted, bruised, scarred, and without power. Debbie’s path of destruction was unstoppable and far reaching.

When it comes to the lessons of Mother Nature, they aren’t always of the nurturing and cuddling kind. Instead they can be brutal, soul-baring and full of impact.

While sitting in the darkness, that was my lounge room this week, I actually said to myself “I don’t know how I would have survived the Dark Ages”. I was desperate to turn on a light, any light and I realised how much in life I actually took for granted until I no longer had it. I never really thought about how awful it is to live a life in the dark, that and its effect on your spirit. It can really make you feel blue.  

There are so many residents, businesses and families who have no power, no water and, in some very terrible circumstances, a destroyed home or place of business.  It would be hard to even look around and find a glimmer of light amongst the chaos.

How can we turn on the light to help us feel the warmth and radiance of the sun long after the storm has passed?

It is not all sunshine and lollypops that’s for sure. Finding even one positive in a negative situation is a tough emotional and mental challenge to tackle. It is so much easier in many cases to be a negative nelly rather than try and chase the sunshine.

But what I have found in life and in super storms is; yes, the streets may be a blanket of darkness, but if you look closer there are so many people under that blanket shining a torch to help others out; either by helping rebuild or to bring a little bit of normalcy back to their lives.

I have heard and seen many people in our community reach out to others, by opening their homes to those who have lost power so they can have a hot shower, charge their phones and have a cuppa and some company.

I have seen neighbours help clean up their streets from fallen trees and debris.

There have been people sending text messages to people they know who live alone to make sure they are safe and secure.

Then there were a few businesses that have bravely stayed open. One of those in particular was Claudies Wine Bar and Pizzeria, who stayed open during the cyclone and were there making food and beverages for people stranded and many SES volunteers, army and local emergency service workers.

There are also the Ergon Energy crews, trying their hardest to get the power back on and Mackay Regional Council staff doing their bit to tidy up and restore order back into our community.

With all of these amazing people in our community holding a torch for other members who are struggling in the dark, it is a shining example how in the darkest of times the brilliance of human nature shines so bright.

And while many of us may have to wait days or even weeks for the power to return, during this time it will be a tough struggle – but please remember to chase the sunshine and find your daily dose of light.

A way to help you find the light while waiting for your electricity to be connected and your inner light to spark is to practise the art of being grateful.  Now is the time to count your blessings, focus on the light that is the positives in your life, write them down, and make them your mantras to get through the aftermath of the storm. Why not connect with the community, see if you can lend a helping hand? Because there is no greater gift than giving. And finally, keep chasing the sunshine because one day, not too far away, you will have caught it and you will find your glow again.

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound. Keep chasing the sunshine.