Sunday, September 18, 2011

Redundancy relived at Bushrangers Bay

Uneven sandy steps, well sheltered by dense tee tree hide the descent into Bushrangers Bay. I emerge suddenly onto rocks and the cold, yellow, gritty sand of the exposed beach.
Ozone is force fed into my stale air-conditioned lungs, stultified by recent work in gloomy buildings with sorrowful folk, the blustery wind whistles through my gold hoop earrings to energise my sludgy brain. Turbulent green waves crash, screaming their objection, obliterating all other noise and sending salt spray onto the washed out tussocky grass that clings precariously to the cliff edge, now battered by the increasingly steady wind.

Shadows cluster and obstruct the sun, which minutes before had been so welcoming, sapping the meagre warmth. T-shirt and shorts had seemed so sensible earlier; now, goose bumps are my body’s response to the afternoon chill. Seaweed, dried crispy brown, tumbles down the sand dune, gathers momentum, skitters, then flies back into the ocean to be pummelled relentlessly and finally disintegrate.
An hour or so respite, focusing on the senses, helps release the grip of fragmented snippets of conversation circling around my brain*.

Relive hearing deep male voices, tight with stress, unnaturally quiet for big blokes who work with steel and fire and water.

Confused voices, in pain; lost in a tangle of raw emotions they barely understand: grief, sorrow, loss, frustration and barely controlled anger and fear.
Redundancy is rarely nice - may evolve over time to something good, but I can’t help but think of the families in my community desperately trying to make sense of, and come to terms with their new reality.

270 people made redundant from a major local employer. I wonder how this will this play out over time for the men, their families and my community, and am grateful for the dramatic beauty and refuge of Bushrangers Bay.

*I'm assisting with the services provided to employees of BlueScope Steel (link) Hastings who have recently been made redundant.



Jennie Fraine said...

Hi, Sue. I hadn't had the time to follow up your blog but I just read all the way down to Older Posts and loved every bit of it. Photos: gorgeous. Commentary: fascinating. Drabbles: sparking the imagination. I just love your birds and the echidna and the way you present our part of this country. Thank you for the delight.

sue said...

Jennie, lovely to see you here. Thanks for dropping by - your comments are a wonderful way for me to start the day.