How to capture in words the experiences of a lifetime of tenderness, harsh lessons, heartache and joy on a Western Australia farm? Our two months there last year were the barest introduction to the ups and downs of farming life in the shadow of the craggy Stirling Range that anchors the flat fields to this earth. Rebecca O’Meehan wrote this poetic summary of life on the farm and read it movingly at Em and Myles’ wedding. See if it doesn’t tug at your heartstrings.
A FARMING MARRIAGE
by Rebecca O’Meehan
Along a dusty road, he waits.
A farmer, Jack of all trades
mechanic, accountant, stockman,
good bloke to his family and mates.
The girl next door arrives, sweeps in,
captures his attention, unravels his heart.
Adventure and travel are on the agenda, good times, great fun.
But then also a longing never to be apart.
A cottage on the hill,
veranda all around,
transformed into a home.
An oasis amidst bare earth and ground.
Life on the land is now your journey.
The seasons a personal calendar,
providing reflections of life: happiness, surprise, sorrow and celebration.
A farming life allows a chance to be your own commander.
Rain will fall, loud on the roof
joy at three a.m. in the morning!
Sometimes despair, hope slipping, ‘too late’!’
“Had it fallen at the right time life would be predictable and boring!”
Roses bloom. Frost will sting and stab.
New life dawns, bleating lambs appear.
Freezing mornings with breath so cool,
sweet nothings disappear in the air.
Afternoon walks in golden fields,
yielding, bending gently in the breeze.
Crop checks, picnics on the header, delivering meals in the dark.
Going home early, “We’ve poddy lambs to feed”.
Snakes at the back door, poly at the ready,
barking dogs in dusty yards, chooks clucking & laying.
A coldie at the end of a hot day, cockatoos squawking,
squeals of laughter, under the sprinklers children are playing.
Blistering heat brings still nights,
a cool house dam becomes your new beach.
That howling wind. The ever-present, encompassing landscape
and the magnificent grandeur of a mountain range within reach.
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All photos by Inga Aksamit