For others, paddocks are green again and the bush provides hope as charred trunks become covered in gentle green regrowth.
Away from last seasons fire affected land, communities that escaped recall their near misses, the frightening nights spent watching the distant glow of fire and the waiting for the next fire update on the ABC radio, or wondering if friends and family are safe.
For many people, it has taken all the cool and time of winter before they have been able to tell their stories.
People who faced their first big fires as firefighters, no longer as members of the public only able to wait, wonder and watch, saw stories of fire they had been told, come to life and experienced things they could not even have imagined.
For all the firefighters, family and friends waited at home, anxious to see them return and hear their stories.
Seasoned fireys went to battle with memories from past campaigns sitting on their shoulders, and came home with new ones. And some were as unable to tell their tales as the overwhelmed rookies.
I have observed my own reactions, the stories I have had to tell and the changing forms I have used to tell them; photography, writing, talking. I have observed those around me. And I hope as the weather warms and farmers discuss when hay will be cut and we wait for the sodden ground and moist leaf litter to dry out and crunch underfoot once more, that people have told their stories and processed the experiences of the last fire season. All their experiences, from the terrifying to the awe inspiring and mundane. Because the next fire season is almost here and nobody knows what new challenges, losses or victories it will bring.
All we know is that it will bring more stories to tell, to process, adding to the extraordinary journey that is life.