NOTE to self: Next time – removalists. A white ute dashes along Sheepways dragging a dust cloaked trailer. Back in Wattle Bank another trailer waits as the next load grows around it. The new place is log jammed. When does the tip close? Can the op-shop sell any of this treasure? Why is the dog barking?
The first day was fun. Cull, sort and start afresh. Time to chat and contemplate. At some stage this became a chore. The clock’s ticking louder as we try to pack our history into bags and boxes. So many books not to be re-read. What about this one? Read the annotation and flick the yellowed corners. All those lives in the breath between two pages.
We turned up here six years ago, tree changing onto sixteen acres of opportunity. Those unforgiving paddocks taught us the rhythm of the seasons. We’ve learnt that it will work out, eventually, thanks to many good friends who’ll lend a hand - no matter how late, or wet or whacky the situation we’ve created. This is what matters.
We’ve learnt the value of neighbours who lend their sprayer six springs in a row, without hinting that you need to get your own - which we should have done; or someone who will replace a broken window on Christmas Eve. How did we find these people?
So we keep packing and piling and culling. One eye on the weather – do we need the tarps? – the other on the calendar. All those boxes going somewhere.
Why is that dog barking? Another strange car pauses at the driveway’s new bifurcation. We’re going to build a fence there, somewhere. Where do we want that gate?
Two days later I put the bins out for the last time. Never did fix that mail box. Walking back the wind reminds me that we aren’t farmers anymore. Nothing broken and nothing lost, so far.
Geoff Ellis, no longer of Wattle Bank