I pulled in back home around 12:30 Saturday morning, somehow the time from plane to car dragged as I waited for my bag and then a cab. The morning counted second hands too quickly before the back road through Krambach reached Wingham. The home of wisdom sits seemingly vacant while I gather my thoughts of happier times. If only time favoured now- perhaps it would still be home.
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.
The alarm sounded at 3 on Saturday morning, awoken to a cup of coffee, quick shower and an early morning drive. Back up north, we loaded the Morris and turned straight back around down south. The Morris Eight demands a bit more attention in the sunlight, as the 70 year old car tells her story of a different past.
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.
Saturday morning was an early start, but in fairness the hours of the night before seemed to tick slower than a second hand drawal around the watchface. Like a beating rhythm of uncertainty, all fears fell when the 60 year old Wolseley lit up, matched only by my racing heart and Dad's eyes. If asked, I would have struggled to recite the sound before, but upon hearing the engine purr my childhood came back to life.
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.
By the waters edge, a story swirls and seems to play out as it is told. The story written in the landscape proves the legitimacy of each word, confirming the time some 7,000 years ago. When the sea's shore was over 120 kilometres from where it is now, it's obvious this changing climate of ours is now speeding up.
Cattle bids made the auctioneer sing of prices not so bad, as he danced with an old rogue steer around the pen. The silent manoeuvre renders the crowd quiet, as the Boorowa lad lets out a familiar call, mirroring his late Dad. As the murmuring heartbeat starts again, the bustle continues on- this pen makes way for the next, the bidding starts again.
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.