Last week an old friend from the coast came to visit. He came up the drive through brown paddocks crying for rain, in temperatures closer to 40 than 30, over a rough and rocky road. For the life of him he couldn’t work out why we lived here. Put on the spot I struggled to articulate a convincing answer but on reflection I found the words:
- Because I can wake in the morning on my time, next to one I love, and peer through open French doors into the arms of a jacaranda tree where the resident bower bird and willie wagtail babies break into chorus;
- Because I feel a connection to nature and to land that is lost to most of society; a connection primal and fundamental, a truth real and raw;
- Because I feel privileged to know and take care of country and livestock; to understand what I don’t know exceeds what I do. And always will;
- Because of the space (some call it isolation, I call it peace) with the freedom to work on my terms, to be myself without judgment, and just to be;
- Because I live in a community that knows me by name, knows my dogs by name, drives me crazy and is family;
- Because only when you’ve known dry, and your livelihood depends on the weather, can you really appreciate rain on a tin roof;
- Because there is something quite extraordinary about patting a calf on the head – before it is born;
- Because at day’s end I can retire to a quiet veranda and once again hear only birdsong ….. and cattle calling and dogs barking.
This is why I live where I live.
Merry Christmas to you all.