Curiosity or catastrophe – it’s all in the timing

Braithwaite Park, Mount Hawthorn would have to be one of the most well patronised community parks in Perth. Leading up to Christmas it was full all day, every day – kids playing ball games, picnickers, mummies chatting over wine, birthday parties with the usual add-ons – bouncy castles, pony rides, fenced farm animals, adult fairies and clowns (not always in clown gear and make-up) bullying passive kids into having “fun”…

Glory be, my partner and I were even over there one afternoon at our annual street Christmas getogether, sitting around a table having a beer with neighbours beneath the shade of one of the ancient, massive trees – this one:

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And yep, that’s the table we were sitting at. My partner and I certainly would have been killed, along with our next-door neighbour and at least two other residents of our street. It is probable that multiple others, including kids, would have copped it also, or been seriously injured. Later that afternoon, the park was jammed with people attending Carols By Candlelight.

As it happened, the bough came down some time on Boxing Day morning. The park was deserted, which only happens a few days per year.

I’d been ruminating on the “what ifs” and dwelling on the usual questions of mortality that perceived near-misses bring on, when news came through of the missing Air Asia plane. My partner and I do a travelling stint in SE Asia every year and always fly Air Asia. In fact, we are due to fly out again in 4 weeks. So this third Malaysian air disaster seemed closer to home than the previous two.

Everything in time, timing is everything. A thought to take into the New Year, along with a glad sense of making it into another one, and a mindfulness that bad timing has plunged others into darkness and despair when they might otherwise have been chugging along caught up in trivia and taking another year for granted, just like me.

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