by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Theri

The Buddha talked about the three characteristics of all phenomena, impermanence (anicca), non-self(anatta) and sufferings(dukkha). We experienced just that in the recent events.

There are four residents at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage: Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri who is sick and disable, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Seri, 77 year old Jacky and Subha the cat.

Life during covid-19 pandemic goes on as usual until Sunday 31st January 2021. Perth entered a 5 day snap hard lockdown at 6pm. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni requires special diet because of her swallowing problems. I had to rearrange the dana for dana drop-off only as there is no visitors allowed into the house except essential workers. We also did not have any volunteers except support workers during the lockdown period. This means the pressure is on for the resident carer, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni.

The bush fires in the area started on Monday around 12pm. We had been regularly monitored the fire situation since 4.30pm. By the time I went to take a rest at 1am on Tuesday morning, the bush fires’ situation has worsen. I was woken at 3.40am as the support worker needed to leave because her family was evacuated. The Hermitage was 8 km away from the bush fires’ emergency evacuation zone. I decided to leave early as last minute evacuation will be too challenging for us with Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s disability. I called the supporter and the maxi taxi and we left the Hermitage just before 5am with hoist and Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni in her wheelchair.

The bush fires’ situations had improved at the Hermitage on Wednesday 3rd February as the wind change took the fire away from direction of the Hermitage. We returned at 1.30pm that afternoon. We remain on alert with the changing bush fires situation. However, the bush fires continues to cause heartache and chaos in the community. At the same time the lockdown continues.

Our hearts go to the community members who suffer difficulties and losses. Our respect goes to all the firefighters and the emergency services. Our lovingkindness and good wishes goes to all beings especially to all those affected by the recent challenges.

May all beings be safe and at peace.

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