I do not remember the heat but for sure it must have been very hot, as the wind roared up the gully and dust stung my eyes. I licked nervously at my dry lips. As my father loaded the wooden tray of his solid Bedford truck, this wind continued to menace. Dirty eucalyptus leaves swirled against the chest of drawers, hauled from my pretty little bedroom. Flapping linens were savagely poked down into the many bundles and boxes.
Dad flung our household possessions aboard with an urgency which signified some impending and unstoppable evil. Mother huddled in the cab, grasping baby Peter in her arms. Middle brother Gerard, a cheeky toddler was at the truck's window, jiggling with excitement.
Me, I felt a fear creeping up my bare legs, making my bladder nervous. I stood obediently “out of the way” looking at our precious home, closed tight and despondent in the morning dull light.
I can recall no explanations and the journey to the haven of my grandparent's house has also melted away. The hefty, dependable truck left again for the bush before I realised it was gone.
Deposited in the living room with the comforting presence of my gentle, white haired Granddad, I watched television. Black and white images of sky high flames devouring the forest. I scanned the fire fighting figures, straining to glimpse my Daddy in his Country Fire Authority overalls. The fear crept back and took hold of my four year old being. Those fires were monsters, which could devour a little girl's world and might never return her father.