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.
We are embraced by the same Mother Earth, founded by Biame and built on Black Lore. Founded on principles guided by the land, our culture sings her songs, responds to the stories of the past and is guided by Elders. This is the same Earth, the same mapped landscape since eternity. Our guide.
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.
The garden has started to thrive despite the lack of rain, with broccoli forming and the other plants growing quite well.
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.
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.
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.
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.