My world feels different this year. Two of the safest places I know have undergone major change.
Christchurch where I went to art school was seen to be safe from earthquakes but it had one that equaled Haiti's and is still shaking. It was a miracle no one was killed.
When I visited at Christmas a large quake again made it necessary to cordon off the city center. My heart hurt to see the beautiful old buildings in states of decay due to ongoing quakes.
Then I returned to Queensland and the floods. Images of water roaring down formerly safe streets and the power of nature unleased in what had been seen to be secure environs.
The Gold Coast an hour away missed out this time but all became aware of the fragility of contemporary cities based on old perimeters.
A big change is happening. People have been affected by these dramatic events.
A recent meeting on the Gold Coast objected to a plan to spend money on a new council building when the cities vulnerability to natural catastrophe had not been addressed. Emotion overflowed.
Many developments have not considered the new realities of a more fragile ecosystem.
The council will however be developing more community gardens.
Food shortages brought about by the floods have made these precious places a way forward.
Food prices are still high and yet my plot at the community garden seems to always provide enough for my evening meal.
The shared areas shown in these photos will be a great source of future food.
Fruit trees line all the boundaries of this garden and are growing steadily.
When greens were short there was always something growing that could be shared.
What I have observed both in Christchurch and in Queensland is a new consciousness based on sharing and caring for each other.
As buildings crumbled or were destroyed by water people showed they cared for each other.
From these disasters something beautiful evolved, the feeling people were there for each other when the going got tough.
It felt like a crumbling world but something of light has grown from this darkness and the people in them will never be the same again.