So, I’m sitting on top of a tank, pumps going beneath my feet and I’m watching the water as it sloshes into the tank. My hands are dry from the mud that I work in, my face is sunburnt, and my shoulders are sore from lifting the pumps and pipes around. (My foot is pretty sore too, because it seems I am continually dropping the pump on it these days)
Just in front of me the hopeful structure of our big windmill stands tall, still semi-naked the blades are only half on, and Dad will be down later to install more piping deep into the ground to find the water.
Surrounding this scene is maybe 100 head of cows and calves, thirsty and hungry, watching me with big expectant eyes, they know that I am bringing water with me when I come. I can almost hear them asking me to share the licorice I am chewing on… yes cows like licorice, so do horses incidentally, but today I’m not sharing.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about what to write next on our blog and I keep coming back to water. Maybe its because thats what my life is revolving around at the moment. Water-which cows have it, which cows need it, and where am I going to get my next load from. cripes our dams are so empty right now-there is only one left to take water from and its not going to last much longer.
We need rain so badly its hard to put in words.
But I’ve come up with a theory, bear with me while I take you for a walk around my mind.
I’m 24 years old, I’m a farm kid and dirty most of the time, if there is any mud to be had I’m likely to be covered in it.
But I’m also single, and at an age where it seems many of my friends are settling down, changing Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’ getting married and some even having children,
My mother despairs over me, she tells me she was married with kids at my age, and plenty of people have plenty of advice and opinions on why I’m single and how to fix the ‘problem’
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! And I’m not unhappy, and I certainly don’t need anymore people reading this and giving me advice about it..
I also do have a point here..
See my dad always says, if you just knew when ‘The One’ was going to come you wouldn’t worry about it nearly so much, (unless you were creepy and desperate and booked the wedding venue cakes and flowers 3 years in advance)
You would cease to worry about the ‘what if it doesn’t happen’ and be able to better prepare for the when it does. You might budget your time better, focus a bit more on other things, maybe travel more in the time you are single, and do other things that you might otherwise not consider while waiting and worrying about location and timing of the when will it happen.
But we don’t know, so (us girls at least) spend time worrying about it, biting our nails and doing our hair-just in case we meet him today! 0_o And then you finally meet him and in hindsight a lot of the things you did while waiting now seem silly, and you can see the mistakes you made, (and all too often you go around giving unwarranted advice to others about how being single is waaaaay better anyway-seriously? some people are so not qualified to give that kind of advice)
Now at this point I have a couple of really good friends who will be rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at me, not naming names but you know who you are..
But I think, maybe waiting on rain is a little similar in some ways. Obviously it is much more heartbreaking and serious, I’m not comparing the two ideas. But we worry huge amounts about the rain, when will it fall, what if it doesn’t. we bite our nails to the quick and work til our hands bleed.
But we also make bad choices, relying on rain to come sooner, we buy a months worth of feed rather than 6 months, and then at the end of the month we curse the empty skies and must buy more feed at dramatically increased cost. Some say its bad business, and our own fault, but without a faith in rain falling soon, however could we go on? Or if we buy 6 months worth of cattle feed, and it rains next week, how do we store the rest? can we store the rest?
Wouldn’t it be so good if at the beginning of each year you recieved a calendar from the heavens with days marked with big red X’s and on those days the rain would fall, you could budget and plan, and it would all be ok. But we don’t know, and we cannot know, so, its like waiting on ‘Mr Right’ to appear.
I hear some people talking about being married to their jobs, or lifestyles or iPhones, or whatever.
But My dad, well actually my whole family right now.. We are married to a rain cloud, and waiting for her to come is painful beyond belief. Heartbreaking, heartrending, and at times it seems like it will never happen and we will be in drought forever.
The desperation eats at your heart, and sears scars into your mind and emotions that will never go away. A few days time will be the 2 year anniversary of the neighbor who hung himself in his shed, the sound of a lone rifle shot while dad is at the shed late at night desperatly trying to fix a machine we need to feed cattle, These things haunt my dreams. They wake me up at night. Those who have been in drought will understand.
But I know, that in time, our bride will come! The rain will fall, and graziers all around will dance in the clean fresh air. And if tears mingle with the drops of rain falling on their faces, nobody will care.
The grass will grow back, the cattle that survive will enjoy a fresh pick. And somehow, the men and women who pioneer our great harsh land, will find in themselves to continue, even though right now, many wish they were anywhere but here. Some will not have made it, some will leave, some have already gone. But those who remain will see reward for their hard work, and broken hearts.
I hope, that when the rain falls, we will still be here, I hope that my family is able to stay until the rain falls, and I hope, that when it does nobody is around taking photos of me, while I dance barefoot in the puddles.