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‘The Sparkling River’ a healing story for children of the flood by Susan Perrow

Written on February 14, 2011

The recent devastating floods which hit many states in the country, most notably Queensland have inspired an enormous response from people across  Australia. There have been more donations than the Brisbane Council and services  could handle and more volunteers than could be used! We heard about a Sydney man who drove the eight hours to Brisbane just to volunteer.

My good friend and colleague, the wonderful Susan Perrow was inspired to help in the way she knew best: to write a story. I asked Susan if I could publish it in my blog and she generously agreed. The Sparkling River Susan Perrow © 13th January 2011 www.healingthroughstories.com There was once a town that had been built on the banks of a long and windy river. The people who lived in the town loved their river – its waters sparkled in the sunshine, many boats moved up and down its lazy flow, bicycles and cars traveled along paths and roads on its banks, and children played in the parks on its edges. By night the moon and stars and the lights of the town were reflected in the river’s silky stillness. The people who lived in the town were proud of their river that sparkled by day and sparkled by night. At certain times during the year the rains would fall and the sparkling river would grow brown and swollen and flow swiftly by. But when the rains stopped the river would settle down again, and all would be as clear and sparkling as before. However, there was a week when the rains fell so heavily that the river filled up and swelled over its banks and into the town. The brown muddy waters flowed into houses and shops and schools. Many people had to move out of their homes and sleep in large halls together, in many beds all in a row. When the rains stopped the sun shone once again. The brown waters slowly flowed back out of the houses and shops and schools. The brown waters slowly flowed back down the streets and into the river and out into the ocean. As the brown waters flowed back into the river, they left a coating of mud on everything. It took many months and much work for the mud to be cleaned up. It took many months for the river to loose its brown muddy colour and get back its sparkle once again. However, during this brown muddy time, the people of the town discovered a new kind of sparkle. It was a sparkle in the eyes of helping neighbours. It was a sparkle in the eyes of helping strangers. It was a sparkle in the offer of a helping hand that came from all over the land and from lands faraway. This new kind of sparkle helped give the people of the river town much hope. They carried this with them through all the muddy days and muddy weeks and muddy months. They carried this with them until once again their river was sparkling in the sunshine. They carried this with them until once again the moon and stars and the lights of the town were reflected in the river’s silky stillness.

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