Recently at the farm I was driving along the tracks minding my own business, taking a few photos, when suddenly it hit me... I was on my own!
All on my very lonesome. Well, except for the dogs. They were on the back of the ute. I was in the front. Obviously! I was driving. Confused yet? I was a little. Still am in fact. Proof: posting a 'Friday at the Farm' post on a Thursday! But back to being alone...
You see, being alone at the farm has never really happened to me before. It's not our farm, so we're not there all of the time. I didn't grow up there. And we've only moved to within 50kms of it in the last two years. So I haven't spend great chunks of time there. Just a weekend here, a saturday there, a week shearing another time. And when we're there we're always doing something. Calf marking, lamb marking, shearing, getting wood and so the list goes on... Doing something generally involves other people, doesn't it? It certainly does for me at the farm. Especially given that I'm a town-girl... can't let me have too much rope ;-) Who knows what I'd do!
But this time I was on my own. Driving on my own. Yes, yes, I know driving is not unusual. In fact, I drive on the road a lot on my own. I used to regularly drive 400-odd kilometres south and then the same north on my own for work. But driving at the farm is another whole dimension. I don't have the photos to reveal it in this post but there are hills so steep you walk sideways up them and the tracks are lined with rocks that shift and move with no reason. Scared yet? I was ;-) Very scared! I was driving on those hills and rocks. Alone. At least it would have only been (dare I say it!) the dogs and I going down!!!
There was a particular part of the track that I've never driven before. On the way out (we were going out to mark the calves) I had the boy with me and we were escorted by Mr Motorbike. So though I was freaking out (worrying that I would take the boy down too!), I was careful not to reveal it. A brave face! On the way back though (when I was alone) something had changed, maybe it was because I didn't have to be scared I'd take my own child down, but it was different... I stopped to take these photos. I breathed. In and out, slowly, slowly. And I realised that I was on my own, on the farm, and I was loving it!
I loved being able to stop and take whatever shot I wanted without scaring the cattle. Or holding up the farmer. Or boring the small people. The poor old dogs must have wondered what on earth was going on; all this stopping and nothing happening! Or maybe they were just glad to hitch a ride home and didn't mind the crazy person with their camera... Whatever. They were quiet and stayed put. The sun was shining. The sky was blue. The breeze blew and this was Australia. My place at this moment in my Australia.
Then I saw them. Or rather, I saw one of them to start with. Then I realised there were two. Eagles. Soaring. Way above the valley floor. Cruising about. What's that line? "I wonder if he understands, it's wonderful to fly." Hmmmm. It was certainly wonderful to watch them. Impossible (for me!) to capture their movement in a photo; the freedom and grace. But they certainly matched my mood. I was in the mood for some soaring :-)
Ah, just a great moment. Or a few great moments in a row. All by my lonesome. Up on the ridge top. Almost the top of the world...
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my family and I am a people person. As a mother though, this being alone business is just a bit wonderful! Yeah?! Oh yeah. It wasn't even as though I was really spending the time focusing on myself. I was focused on taking photos of the farm, the sky, trees and the landscape. Oh, and the eagles. Being alone just meant that I could concentrate properly on just this activity. And only this. Well, at least until I got to that very rocky, very steep part of the track... then I had to focus on the gear stick and the clutch! Ah, reality bites again!
Isn't this sky just great?! Going on forever. And so blue. We do blue very well here in Australia. Excuse my patriotism! And my waffling today, excuse that too. I did have fun :-)