We took a trip to Marysville on Sunday. It was my first visit since Black Saturday. There were quite a few tourists visiting and the bakery was doing a roaring trade. You can see the strain though. It's like there is that unspoken question on every visitor's lips. "How are you doing?" But not in the lighthearted greeting kind of way, but the imploring way, that 12 months on, there are still some people living in caravans about to endure a 2nd winter.
I was surprised to see some buildings survived, like the Tower Motel, the Cumberland Day spa (or was that rebuilt?) and the timber tavern near the park. (I remember seeing the documentary about the man that stayed and defended that property.)
The town felt foreign, all shiny and new. But you could still feel the ghost of old Marysville. The impressive trees, the stream beside the footpath, the diagonal carparks in Murchison street. You can see that new supermarket from Murchison St, because the foreground buildings are no longer. The trees are re sprouting and the gardens that weren't completely decimated provide splashes of colour.
I visited the block where Mrs. Cuzens house stood. There is a bit of garden, some plastic chairs and a rotary clothes line. It made me sad to see it gone, but I knew that there was little hope of it surviving as it was weatherboard and right in the firing line. At least I know that Mrs. Cuzens is safe.
I will go back again soon. I'd like to visit Bruno's sculpture garden as do the girls. The garden is growing back and the sculptures are being repaired. And life will go on.