Another grey morning almost on the edge of precipitation one might think but is it ???
It is T- day, the day when John repairs Carole’s leaky concrete water tank. This means it needs to be as empty as possible so that John can climb into the octopus’ garden he calls it where all sorts of plants are growing .Hence the gumboots. Using a waterproof adhesive John will patch the weepy seeping site. I decide to go over with him and have another harvest of black berries from the hedge along the road just down the hill and around the corner from the tank.
Driving along we notice the paddock world is starting to brown off, intense summer heat and lack of rain in the last month is now showing up. On the verge along Yowrie road is brown shrivelled up trees and shrubs, poisoned. I still cannot fathom the reasoning of this action. Do we not all breathe the same Air ? Do we not all eat of the same Earth and do we not all drink of the Earth’s Water.?
I have settled that there are things I will probably never ever get like silicon in breasts, adding no’s into food and packing depleted plutonium in casings and then lobbing them at towns and villages and people.
They don’t get in here, Carole says hands tightly clenched, no way. I won’t allow it Sandy, I’ll lie down on the road if I have to. She means it too. And touch wood so far they give her a wide berth. Bless her, what a Earth Warrior Woman! Drawing a line standing up holding the space so that one day I can turn up and eat wild sun warmed bliss balls of juice.
I am very grateful. the berry bunches are full and black and red and purple hiding among the prickly leaves and the thorny stems that spot the arm coming and latch on. Ouch. it is definitely not for the fainthearted.
The tank is not empty. This does not bode well. John shakes his head. So he comes down the hill with me and picks for a while before going back to discover that it is draining out a drop or three at a time.
John has words with Carole; I am too far away and cannot hear them. I get caught up in the dance of the eagles. Two wedge tail eagles fly low over the paddocks and into the lower foothills of wandella mountainn. They soar languid circles dip a wing turn catch an updraft disappear for a minute or two and then glide in a broad sweeping arc so close I could almost reach out and touch its feathers.
They have a nest up here on the Dumpling behind me, a small knobby little hill identified by its large bald faced rock on its western edge and the two nests on the eastern side. they can see out over Wandella Valley thru to Cobargo and the coast and up to Narooma. In a fork in a huge tree they add sticks and bark year after year making it longer and deeper.
This is their home territory, their place. They are indigenous to this spot on the landscape. Thru all the cycles of breeding brooding and birthing to old age and death, thru parenting hunting riding currents I cannot see and dodging the farmers bullets they are a sight to behold, a sight to sink into.
Last week I had picking companions along this hedge Kingston Jess and Carole. Watch out he’ll eat them all, says Carole. No he wont, replies Jess. Kingston grins thru a purple stained mouth. We make jam when we get home adding some of Caroles sweet pears and , sugar lots of it.
Jams are probably going out of fashion now, the new nasty perhaps. better hook in while we can.
The sun is burning inside my clothes and thru my hat and I am hot. Then clouds rush over and a breeze cools my neck. It is a tussle but on this day eventually, the sun will win and whatever drizzle was promised holds back, again.
It’s going to rain ,says Carole. The yellow tailed black cockatoos have been in and the white ones, I’ve got ants in the kitchen, and a cricket came in, there is a slug on the wall … the list rattles on. But are the springs filling? I ask. Yep they are full Carole tells me. Rains coming Sandy.the signs have been there for about three weeks, she laughs, that’s why I haven’t been worried.
We go home. John decides to go back later when the tank is emptyish . Nothing is ever a simple exercise with Carole or at her farm but that is just how it is.