A unique approach to community education and healing road trauma

When my injury compensation case with Karl’s vehicle insurer finally settles (confirming that I cannot sue the Tweed Shire Council for negligence in road planning, maintenance and management), relationships between us thaw somewhat, leading to some awkward but improved communication.

Bless this Fire: A SUGGESTION

As I am putting the final touches to this blog, southeastern Australia is ablaze with unprecedented bushfire activity, a direct result of climate change and anthropogenic global warming. Sitting in Vancouver in front of my TV, transfixed by the horror unfolding in my adopted country, I imagine a modification of the “Bless this Road” approach that might be used as a healing model for those who have been shocked, broken, dispossessed, injured, made homeless and forever traumatized by the horror of the bushfires in Australia. I imagine “Bless this Fire” emerging as a model for healing — of individuals, families, friends — and communities. And I offer our healing model in the fervent hope that someone in Australia might take it up and develop it to suit the bushfire crisis.
Millions of humans are being affected by this tragedy. Billions of other precious lives have been lost. Some species may never recover. Using some of the Deep Ecology activism approaches and rituals provided in this blog and this book and combining them with the approaches in the “Bless this Road” model, we might have a model that could be taken forward for healing trauma in Australian communities affected by bushfires.


Back in September 2018, working with John Bevelander, Lori, Kev, and I begin planning our final activist activity: a day-long Bless this Road event to be held at the Uki Hall. We have many volunteer helpers.

That powerful day is the culmination of over two years of concerted activist work. While Karl’s death and the frustrations of our earlier activism nearly broke our hearts, the power of community healing in Bless this Road breaks open our hearts and (to a large extent) heals our pain.

On 30 September 2018, John and I co-host Bless this Road, a full day of activities and rituals to blend our grieving communities with the local Uki community, to build and strengthen community knowledge and capacity about road safety, to share our sorrows, to thank all those who helped us in the crashes, their aftermath and in our mourning, and to affirm that life continues.

And, of course, to bless the Kyogle Road, that was (and possibly still is)  the Tweed Shire Council’s shame and a source of the local community’s grief, having claimed six lives in just over six years.

We are supported by a large group of friends, including Kev and Lori.

Kyogle Road, Uki, NSW
Uki Hall
Uki Hall

Bless this Road is the most moving and powerful event I have ever experienced. 

In every way, I feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to be part of that incomparable blessing.