Explorations in Climate Psychology Journal: The river wants to move

The Uk-based, Climate Psychology Alliance, published a personal reflection piece I wrote for their e-journal, “Explorations in Climate Psychology”.

Below are the first three paragraphs, here is the full article.

I belong to Italian migrants and the first generation of my family born on Aboriginal Land. I live and work on the stolen lands of the Moorung-moobah people of the Bundjalung Nation, whose knowledge and care have stewarded this country for centuries. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present, acknowledging their unceded sovereignty. And I am grateful for the unbroken connection between First Nations peoples and Country.

On Sunday 27 February 2022, I drove down the hill to check the causeway. I had been flooded in since Thursday and hoped to get into town for work the next day, but the creek was higher and moving faster than I’d seen before. It’s common for the causeway to go under during a rainy period, and in usual circumstances, the creek recedes as quick as it rises. Bowled by an extinct volcano in the very north east of New South Wales, this lush ancient landscape pulsates with a youthful green – the combination of soil fertility and an abundance of water. But with our third La Niña event, the ground was saturated. Even a twelve-metre wattle, not far from the house, had fallen, taking out smaller trees on its way down, its trunk and roots sodden and unable to hold itself in the land any longer.

Rain kept falling. I wasn’t able to make phone calls. Then texts became fickle. Not long after, the internet wasn’t working which meant I couldn’t check the Bureau of Meteorology for updates. When the power went, I wasn’t surprised, but I also hadn’t prepared very well. I rely on electricity to power the pump that sends rainwater up pipes and into taps. I don’t have a generator, so I filled big buckets from the small tank under the house, lugging them to the kitchen and bathroom. The two enormous tanks were overflowing and spewing water down the hill. With was so much collapsing, I felt the weight of being on my own.