After being called in early for a flight back home, we boarded a little before schedule, headed out toward Mudgee, before Taree. In an attempt to connect and learn, I yarned on the first leg. Then the second was in awe of the fire that took the Mid North Coast. A firestorm week, full of radio mismatch and constantly updating social media feeds. All while our Worimi land burned.
I called in Friday afternoon to spend some time with the horses, watching them connect and cherish their new friendship. A true gentle nature is more than evident, as they slowly share a pat and brush. Despite the hustle of a mobile phone connected life, these odes to the old times showcase and demand true connection.
Surrounded by the buzz of university, I became interested in the craze of money attributed to the hopeful lifestyles of doctors, accountants and lawyers. It was a stark comparison to much of my childhood, but the dreams of hustle and prosperity was evident from the families of the apparent elite. Money, and the status associated with it, seemed to rule placements and the future. I became addicted, dreaming of ferraris and large houses, captured by things, rather than feelings.
The garden has started to thrive despite the lack of rain, with broccoli forming and the other plants growing quite well.
Polly seemed to ensure we didn't get much sleep Friday night, finding joy sleeping inside and being captured by the shadows forming outside. Before long the 5:30 alarm made itself known, shouting at the rooster for his sleep in. The next 30 minutes moved slow, and then it was off.
Along new and familiar roads, the car's tyres moved to the beat of some country tunes and podcast pondering. It was a week of new thinking, new wisdom and new pushing, all on old country. But the words of a familiar folk named Sparkles caught me off guard with a simple comment- it's good for Boorowa.
On a centre stage I connected. Blessed, and in the presence of a greater strength, words flowed about my family, climate change and agriculture. I look back at my family's history and find hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for change.
On a distant fridge, a picture hangs with a single clydesdale. It's what dreams are made of, reflecting the perfect horse of the judge over the weekend's proceedings. His eye casts over the 60 odd horses on display, filtered by that distant view, as he selects his favourite.
Counting time on through events, reminds me of the ticking stopwatch used to count grain. The contrast of hard hands to tie off fence wire, yet soft enough to cradle lambs and handle sheep. Although 12 months has passed, it's hard not to still feel your presence. A cracking season, healthy lambs and wool amassing faster than the period before. Still caretaking, still managing the landscape. The Quiet Stockman.
This week started with some rain soaked fencing with Nan, working down on the other block to build a holding pen. It was then to Canberra for a road trip on Saturday before feeding sheep on Sunday.