My green-thumbed buddy’s bromeliad collection at Iluka

I was hunting around trying to find a word this morning. Have you ever had that experience? Not so much a word I’d lost or forgotten, but one which would link my ideas and express them adequately. So I settled on ‘distance’ which has been variously defined by Dictionary.com as:

the extent or amount of space between two things, points, lines, etc.; the state or fact of being apart in space, as of one thing from another; remoteness; a linear extent of space; an expanse or area such as a vast distance of water surrounded the ship; the interval between two points of time; an extent of time; remoteness or difference in any respect, such as: our philosophies are a long distance apart; an amount of progress.


Perhaps you’ve noticed my absence from the blogosphere in these last few weeks? Well, my time away has been very eventful. Three events in fact: a big family reunion, a big birthday with ongoing celebrations and now this – a big cyclone.

In each of the three events, distance was a theme. Friends and family came from near and far for our reunion. It was a joyous occasion for  re-connection. Although we have regular digital contact, seeing and actually holding each other in real time was very special.

The second event was a big birthday – mine!

“How did it get so late so soon?”
Dr. Seuss

The celebrations went on for weeks. I can’t begin to tell you how special that made me feel. As part of the festivities, I spent time with special friends on the beautiful Clarence River in north-eastern New South Wales. Our hosts, my green-thumbed buddy and her main man, have a beautiful garden there. Plants traverse the distance between this garden and my own as we share and swap specimens. The connection between friends always bridges distance.


The third event was more stressful. Tropical cyclone Debbie landed right on the spectacular Whitsunday region where my daughter and her partner live. This is a distance of 1,178.4 km (732 miles) from my home here in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. They endured terrifying days spent hunkered down in a reinforced concrete industrial shed which shuddered and shook but kept them safe, though no less frightened. Wind gusts of 260 kph ( approx.161 mph) were recorded in the area, destroying anything in the cyclone’s way. Thankfully they’re safe, though not so their garden or trees which were denuded of every leaf. Miraculously their little fibro bungalow survived virtually unscathed against all odds. Others weren’t so lucky. We were fortunate to maintain phone communication but I certainly felt the distance between us during their ordeal.



The little bungalow that survived

Now it’s our turn to bunker down as ex-tropical cyclone Debbie still packs a sting in her tail. Although now a tropical low, up to 500 millimetres (approx. 30 inches) of rain is expected to be dumped in our region over the next 24 hours. It’s hot, sticky and oppressive but preferable to a full-blown cyclone. So far, so good!

… love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.

Steve Maraboli


22 responses to “Distance

    • Thanks for your comment Albert. As I write another flood evacuation order has come through on my iPhone for an adjoining street which runs beside the river. It is 1am here and I’m wide awake, hoping the river doesn’t rise any further.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tornado warnings at 1:00 a.m. this morning (last night) here in the Mississippi valley — rain & thunder, bright lights flashing — eventual quiet — our little house and yard soon drifted off in sleep, forgetting the larger world’s troubles for a while. Hoping your night’s troubles, & your part of the world’s, pass soon, Robyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing you a Happy Belated Birthday Robyn! By the sounds of it, you had an extremely fabulous time the past few weeks. 🎉🎈✨

    Glad to hear your daughter and her partner made it through the cyclone relatively unscathed. The wind speed is terrifying, I hope you’ve endured as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Celebrations and cyclones – what a contrast. I’m glad to hear your birthday cheer carried over beyond the day. It sounds like a really enjoyable time. And made even better by knowing that the little fibro shack gave good shelter. A relief, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Although I wish this storm had never hit, I’m so glad your daughter and partner are well and their little abode survived it all. And I missed your birthday, my friend. Well, I’m wishing you a wonderful Birthday Year, then! Keep safe.


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