Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Azure Window: A Day To Take Stock

I've lost track of the number of storms and gale-force winds that hit our islands since last September and 'inevitably', as the newspapers would say, our islands suffer the consequences. I would argue on most days that it is the inevitability of our infrastructure to cater for storms that leads to the chaos immediately following it practically every time. However a number of natural disasters also happen which we could never stop, and whilst many a time it was the flooding of the valley area of my hometown and uprooted trees and fallen rubble walls that would grab our attention, this time it is a much more serious consequence that this country is facing.

The Azure Window in Gozo, which was the personality of many a postcard and numerous tourist photos as well as a backdrop to wedding and honeymoon pictures of locals and visitors alike, has this morning collapsed in its entirety, something which has left me in awe as, despite the constant reminder from the media that this photogenic attraction would soon be gone, I never imagined that its stack would also disappear.

Photo courtesy of Muriel Photography at https://www.facebook.com/MurielCaruanaPhotography/?fref=nf

It was the winds and waves that ultimately claimed this Gozitan gem, yet I cannot help but point out one thing. Repeatedly, newspapers warned against its rapid decay whilst sign posts were erected asking people not to step on it in order not to aggravate the situation. And yet just this week I saw new photos that showed that people were still trampling around on this much-coveted treasure like heritage was only second to today's enjoyment. So truly, I think we brought this on ourselves? When will we learn that playing with fire can only lead to getting burnt, and when will humans realise they are a part of a whole, one that we should be caring for rather than destroying in a million different ways? Today it was the Azure Window, which many would say would have anyway collapsed at one point or another. However tomorrow, it might be the air we breathe, the land we live on, the fields we live off, that we destroy. So take this not only as a day to mourn a loss, but also as the chance to care for what remains.

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