As I sit here writing this my dear wonderful husband is outside driving back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
He’s not moving sheep or carting grain or any such thing, he is out there driving back and forth, putting his whole life – the last 28 years of work out in our front paddock.
It’s not his fault, nor mine nor anyone we know, it’s the bloody weather.
Two years running we’ve had failed crops, had to use our money to save our sheep to keep them fed, hoping and praying that it would soon rain and save us.
Our land was sold last October, all of it. The land that had taken years to acquire, blood sweat and tears. The clearing sale is on Wednesday, the reason why my husband is driving back and forth, back and forth. Piece by piece they are lined up waiting for the eager buyers trying to snatch up a bargain. Piece by piece parts of our lives are put on show. Remember the truck bought back in 1980, the first Land Cruiser back in ’79, the new Header bought in ’03 – they’re all there with the rest of the machinery, lined up waiting silently for their new owners, ready to say farewell to the one who cared and looked after them so well.
We got a tease from the rain early last year, wonderful opening rains, tempting us to sow our crops – work those long long hours, slave to the tractor, the tractor he loves. I wonder if he knew it would be the last time he’d sow a crop? I wonder if he ever thought that it would come to this, that the world that he loves, the only world he has ever know would come to an end, all because of the bloody weather.
I can’t begin to imagine how my husband is feeling. I know I am numb, that the tears well in my eyes when I think of how it is all ending, how the farming life that I have grown to love is about to come to an abrupt end. I think of the smile in his eyes when he knew he’d be out on his tractor for weeks on end. The happiness in his voice when talking about his crops, the joy of gliding through them with the Header. He’d bounce out of bed at 4am eager, with a spring in his step.
They say farming is in your blood and I believe this to be so. Before I met my husband I would have laughed at the thought, but not now, not now knowing is pulses through his veins, the love of the land, the openness, the everyday coming and goings of being a farmer. Then an end to it all like that, no rain, no crops, no life. But still we go on.
Will our children suffer not growing up as farm kids? Will they remember the blue sky’s, the contrasting red earth, the joy or riding on dad’s lap as they go yet another round of the paddock in the header?
At shearing time, the smell of the shed, the laughter at dinner time when swapping yarns with shearers. Lying in the wool, sheep bleating, dogs barking the drone of the shears.
Our life continues, even though right now most of it is sitting out in our front paddock. Come Wednesday the new chapter begins. Through the tears and heartache we will struggle, fighting back the feelings of hopelessness, the total loss of what was ours. It will be a sad day, I know I will become more numb. I will stand and be strong for my husband as to me he is the one who is losing so much.
Just remember that we are the fortunate ones even though right now it doesn’t seem so, we are.
Love to you my dear husband x x x