The week started with a hope of rain, molding a city skyscape of pessimists, while optimistic farmers took their chance to applaud every drop, secretly hoping for the next. Following highway lines, along country roads to home, the night took us to Biripi country to Teach a Man to Fish. Kattang words flowing, didgeridoo humming and tear filling tunes, the introduction to the film was enough to capture the soul of our people and fill us with hope. And somehow, the documentary sparked new hope, new reasons.
A tale from our neighbours north, the story told of the haunts of the past, a hopeful future and the role of modern education and its impact on culture. Go off and get an education, for you need to advance- perchance in the hunt of commas and lights, yet never to the Earth or our People. So the documentary goes, a brother who travelled the world destined for education missed the one thing that his family always had. Fishing. And somehow, my tale is no different.
An impulse buy, or 3, of cows from the tv hummed, as an agent struggled to pronounce our Worimi stud name and the location of the farm. It was clear a market crippled by drought, as prime cattle entered the ring to sell for a discounted price. A sale topper of $21k, miles from that of last year ($48k), a mere story in the impact of weather. It was then off to make that more realistic, fencing empty creek beds to prevent unhelpful cattle crossings.
Yet my week, marked early in the highlights of farming dreams, turned dark in the very dreams from my past. Having lost the quiet stockman earlier this year, it was very apparent to me that even though I had pushed for the opportunity to shear with him last year, things got in the way. So true to his schedule, true to all the years before, my Nan hired a shearing team for the first week of September. And this year, I was doing all I could to make sure I was on hand.
It wasn’t without it’s friction or doubts, changes and often fight, shining through amber shaded fields. But it’s coming. The tall trees filling my dreams, a morning glimpse of the Amerton sign hanging on my wall and the hope of my heart has prevailed, and next week will be a buzz of shearing handpieces to break the morning dew. All by the side of my Nan, her first year to grace the Amerton woolshed alone. And as Yellow Long stands tall in the hills at home, the red dirt whispers me back to the cool weather climates not far from the horses run.
Teach a man to farm, and you might just connect him back to the very country he belongs.