Over the weekend my home state of Victoria experienced the worst bushfires ever recorded in Australia.
The count is 131 dead. The figure is being updated hourly.
Entire communities have been lost. Countless acres of land have been razed. As more and more tragedy is uncovered, the scale of the disaster grows.
This is one of the moments that will still be spoken of for decades to come. Stories both horrendous and heroic pile upon each other and will become, in time, the legends of an event rarely seen but long remembered.
At times like this we understand what it means to consider humanity a united family.
The fires have taken no heed of race or religion. Nature doesn’t care about our petty beliefs or concocted tribal distinctions.
We are no more important to this planet than the bugs and worms crawling in the scorched and blackened earth.
All we have is each other. We have our common humanity.
And we have our deep shared empathy for those who have lost so much.