As Melanie Harris-Brady drives through the fire, she has a vision of herself -- hair turning to ash, face peeling -- and believes she has died. Sometimes it still feels as though her soul is just going through the motions.
The devastating fires in Victoria on Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed 173 people.
Although her daughter was safe with friends that day, Melanie is consumed with guilt over leaving her beloved dog, Max, behind. Mourning the loss of precious things, she recalls her cherished period home and the memories it held.
But life goes on--a dear friend becomes a husband, a new home is built, a son is born. Making jams and chutneys is her therapy, and each year around the 7th of February, friends and family gather: passata is made, wine is drunk.