At the farm, it's evident that the drought has made its mark along the Coast. Surrounded by burnt ground from a raging inferno, the land wilters, begging for the few metres of rainfall that normally meets the ground. Instead, metres of rain is replaced by metres lost from dams and it's hard to think of the once kneehigh green grass that used to make walking through the paddocks difficult.
On country I ponder my mark, the legacy that will be left and the moments of importance that play into the grand plan. I wonder about the daily actions required to reclaim country and society, rethink norms and, replenish and redream life across the Worimi Estate. Whether nature will restore and continue to teach, whether land will share stories from before and lead us forward, and whether culture will sing to bring us all on this journey for change.
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.
The most beautiful sunset awoken hope for tomorrow’s sunrise, as the pink tones danced with the rolling green hills for an eternity. The sunned canola interfered for just a moment, radiating in hope to pray for another drop of rain. But meanwhile its empty promises is realised, promised instead to roaming sheep who fill the emptying crop voids. And while my family's country, by lore, spans the plains north, this country feels just as much home to me.
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.
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.