I’ve written before about Buster and my rural upbringing where Buster was brought up on a farming property near Nindigully and I on a cotton property near Dalby. My childhood memories are as sweet-as-honey: swimming in the tea-stained dam (peddling your legs like a duck to prevent the leaches from latching); fire and brimstone storms reaching across the sky; feeding our poddy goats named Ellie and Daisy after school; riding my horse Sapphire like a bat-out-of-hell through the cultivation paddocks.
With such rose-coloured, childhood memories it’s no wonder as a mother I selfishly want the same for my daughters. I want my girls to grow up vaulting onto horse’s bareback with their friends, dangling their feet in the creek waiting for a yabbie to tug on their fishing line, herding the chooks into the chook house upon dusk. An upbringing where nature, weather and the seasons are threaded into your daily life. The hard lesson of life and death learnt through your animals.
I now understand that Finn and Winifred won’t care if we live on 100,000 acres or 17acres. With Buster and my heritage and love for the living world we are constantly pointing out Mother Nature’s greatest achievements to our Finn. Can you smell the rain on the horizon? Can you hear the green frog’s rain song?
Some of our closest friends live on the land. It’s heartbreaking that their success or failure is dictated by the weather. It’s tough, joyous and humbling for the children who are brought up in the bittersweet world of the bush. However, I’m the first to admit that bush life gets beneath your skin. Even though droughts kick you in the teeth those who love the land can’t seem to turn their back on it.
Last weekend we visited our good friends out near Surat for two nights. It was a Christmas rendezvous with three families and a bunch of excitable kids. For Buster and I it’s important that our umbilical chord to the bush never severs so Finn and Winnie understand this life that we love so much- the backbone of Australia.
The weekend was spent riding horses, feeding poddy calves and a dusk swim in the dam. Exhausted kids and happy parents. Epic tantrums (thank you Finn), tears, scratched knees and fits of hysterical laughter equals a brilliant two days.
I’m curious to know, do you have a connection with the bush?