It seems so long ago, January 18th 2003
And it started just like any other day
But we were gripped by drought, one of the worst in history
We could only have faith God sent the rain our way.
El Nino had taken hold of this, our proud nation
We’d been through drought before, but none like this
We had to save our water, to keep reservoirs from depletion
A situation none could ever miss.
That Saturday morning was rather quite mild
But steadily became hot and dry
Hot westerly winds blew and gusted wild
As if to herald a storm would pass us by.
It happened late afternoon; the sky went suddenly dark
An eerie twilight had fallen like a shroud
The firestorm had moved through Namaji National Park
The sun was an orange disc behind the smoky cloud.
This day is etched deep in my memory, as I watched the houses burn
I couldn’t escape for fear of flying embers
I panicked, then remembered the only One to whom I could turn
Praying for myself and my fellow community members.
God must have heard and answered for here I stand today
Yet the whole terrible event still seems to me, surreal
It was almost like I was standing beside myself that day
The unreality of something that was very real.
At the peak of my distress, I thought it was the end
But God had other ideas and plans for me
And though the reason why, I still don’t understand
Deep down inside I know, in Him, I’m free.
So no matter what happens from now on
Whether feast or famine, hard times or not
I’ll remember the day that Canberra burned
And hold on to faith the most precious thing I’ve got.