I don’t make a habit of stopping at the many crosses, flowers, and memorials on the side of the road. Most of them are not situated in safe and assessable groves of gums. Nor are these burned black, but healing trees spray painted with pink hearts, names and confessions of love. On a large stone was a place, the following words were engraved and encircled with flames:
"Tragedy of the 2006 Grampians fires
Took the lives of Milky and Zeke ----------
Ending two generations on their fatal
May we all learn from this
Our love for you will burn forever
in our hearts
Sharon, Kayla, Jacinta (4 musketeers)"
I had seen the blackened trunks throughout my two days in the Grampians, but the re-growth and life was so readily apparent that it was easy to discount the fires. Forests will always burn. It’s part of their cycle. It’s a part of life. I thought of Milky and Zeke for many miles, still at rest in there pink grove of gum trees.