Two weeks spent at the farm are coming to a close and I feel inexorably sad. Even the designer dogs look miserable. I’m sad that I won’t see the last flush of snow peas. Sad that there is no way I can harvest all the spinach on offer. Sad that I’ll miss the beginning of our crab apple blossom. Sad that the Columbines and Clematis will be spent before we visit again. The Mays will be finished and the bees will have left our Photinia and Viburnums in search of sweet nectar further afield. The Lilac will have vanished for another year. The carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, cantaloupe and potatoes will be shooting and our heifers may well have calved before we return. Sigh.
I am more and more convinced that this is where I belong. Its pull on me is physical. I feel emotionally fulfilled here. The smell of soil and sheep shit. Of lanolin and blossoms. Of dam water used to keep the garden alive. Dust caught in the wind. The screech of a cockatoo. The early morning call of a thrush. The light at any time of the day, no matter the weather. The stars. The stars.
Watching the children find wonder in ‘nothing’. Shooing the kelpie pup away from the pile of shoes at the back door, lest they be shredded. Loving my family of magpies, then wanting to take to them with an air rifle as I watch them dig up the plants we dug in hours before. The sound of the ‘click, thwack’ of the sprinkler. Of the earnest conversations of the wrens. The people of the community. Eating mainly what you’ve grown. Using mismatched linen and the crockery of your grandparents. Taking the time to draw and paint and not caring that you have no skill in that department.
Not being able to see the children but knowing they are somewhere exploring, having fun and watching out for one another. The taste of the water from our tank. The million shades of green. Good, honest outdoor work. Bone-weary satisfying sleep. Paddocks set ablaze by crazy beautiful sunsets. Ditto sunrise. The smell of growth and death.
A girlfriend who lives at the property behind us (and also travels to and fro Sydney) confided yesterday that she wants to die here. Shazam me. Although I hope it’s not for many years yet. Back in Sydney I spend my days staring at the calendar trying to find slots of time when we might be able to sneak a quick visit**.
This morning, before the rest of the family woke, I wandered through our garden, determined to capture the ‘why’ of my feelings. I had a ripper of an image of newly budded Lilac until the ants crawling up my legs made me jump, rip off my pants, snort with laughter and the image became a purple blur. There’s the why, right there. Some of these photos also come close to explaining the ‘why’, but until I truly master my camera, my words will have to do.
Until next time…
** I realise I am blessed to have a currently have a choice of places to call home and this may appear to many a self-indulgent moan. There you have it. I feel guilt, but I can’t help myself and you know what? I refuse to apologise for it.