For Brigid Jordan and her husband Andy, witnessing the rejuvenation of their small Kangaroo Valley block of land after the devastating summer bushfires has been cathartic.
Since the firestorm swept through the valley, which lies about two hours' drive from both Sydney and Canberra, the couple has spent countless hours trying to restore their land to its former glory.
The biggest solace for Brigid was replanting her vegetable patch which didn't stand a chance against the heat and flames of the Currowan bushfire on January 4.
Where once blackened trees stood as a constant reminder of that terrifying day, now green leaves populate the branches.
The grass is green, citrus trees have been replanted, and fences, along with hearts, have slowly been mended.
"I was much more affected by the fire and the trauma of it than I ever expected," Mrs Jordan said.
"It was only in my overreactions to other normal things that I realised how shocked and traumatised I was. I am still working through those emotions.
"We stayed and fought to save our house and we were in better place to recover than some of our neighbours on Duffys Lane who lost their homes and now live in caravans.
"We were really lucky to have our house."
Almost 50 trees inside their paddock burnt on January 4, and despite Mrs Jordan's best efforts, and hopes, many of them did not recover and had to be ripped out - yet another blow for the avid gardener.
"There was nothing left of my vegetable garden but now we are eating vegetables from there again," she said.
The last stage of their rebuild was making a new chicken coop, putting in the plumbing and completing the electrical work for the shed and water tank pump.
Already, the couple has had to start preparing their property for the new bushfire season which starts on October 1.
Earlier this week the independent inquiry into last summer's bushfires handed down 76 recommendations. The NSW government has accepted them all.
One of the key recommendations would see landowners across NSW obliged to conduct more hazard-reduction burns on their properties in preparation for bushfires.
Mrs Jordan said it took her and her husband about a month of clear their property of sticks, leaves and branches, which they have done every year as they know the fire risks of living in the bush.
Kangaroo Valley resident Eileen Judge, who is 83, was clearing her land of bush debris on Thursday afternoon in preparation for the bushfire season.
She rakes up all the leaves and sticks and does small pile burns between April and August, with the permission of the Rural Fire Service.
With larger piles, she requests an RFS crew to come out to safely conduct the burn.
"It is an enormous job for only one person," Ms Judge said. "I do a burn when the weather allows me too.
"Earlier in the year, the weather was cool, so I was burning regularly because I had so much debris and thought I better finish it off this week because I am running out of time.
"I do it so there is less fuel on the ground as I want to protect my property so my house doesn't burn down."
For Annette Shepherdson, it was a race against COVID-19 lockdown to get her Duffys Lane house liveable again after they lost their water tanks, shed and chicken coops, and the roof of their house was damaged. The repair bill was estimated to be $300,000.
The family of four, received their contents payments first but are still waiting to receive their building insurance payout more than seven months on due to delays with the assessor.
"I was confused about the recommendation that landowners do their own backburning," Mrs Shepherdson said.
"The Morton National Park is so close to us. I would hate for someone to do backburning and then it roar through a national park."
Mrs Jordan and Mrs Shepardson both believe, and hope, their patch of the world will not burn again for many years to come, especially because there has been a significant amount of rain in the past couple of months. However, parts of the NSW Southern Highlands still remain unburnt.
"There was a huge fuel load before the fires and we saw established eucalyptus trees fall over," Mrs Shepherdson said.
"It was bizarre as these were the trees that can withstand the dry conditions. I do think that is connected to climate change."