Certainly, something I didn’t think would change me completely. Well, for the better anyways.
Being a girl who grew up in a small beach town, Terrigal NSW, my mind always wondered away dreaming of rural life. It’s something I wanted most of my younger years, but never knew why. Country life drew me in, and I made the choice to move 3 hours away from the family home and move to Scone NSW. So much fun; at 20 years old, I met girlfriends I still catch up with today, worked hard on horse studs and this is where I met my ex-husband as well. Stuart. Stuart was friends with friends I had made, who spent his time when not working in Scone, as this is where his boarding school friends lived. Stuart had family up in Toowoomba QLD at the time – 2 sisters in fact. One on a Dairy Farm, the other on a Lucerne. Given Stuart and I were keen and motivated to make a start as a young couple in the country, we pretty much packed up after a year of dating and moved up north to don a new adventure.
For the few years I worked in Children services, mostly education and child protection. It’s what I enjoyed but can’t remember in those years waking to feeling like I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose. Like there was something more. Stu and I worked hard to save money and soon, we bought a house in a little town Gowrie Junction.
At the back of Gowrie Junction, there was mostly farmland and gorgeous views of fields, cattle in the paddocks and so forth on the drive to work. I went this way, which was the longer way around, when I had the extra time up my sleeve. The drive, although just nearby from where we lived, made me feel grounded, at home and as if I was on the right track.
One day, as I drove to work, I noticed a small property for sale, only 10 acres with an old rickety farmhouse that was covered by overgrown gardens. Before we knew it, that farmhouse turned into our home. With lots of work to do, and given we were young and childless, we thought the first thing to achieve is tidying the outdoors. Cutting back old overgrown trees, landscaping gardens, fencing, stocking the paddocks with animals and filling the chook pen with poultry. It took months but all that hard work was truly so rewarding, with the helping hands of friends and family.
I think this is when I began to learn about what inspired me as a person and what also made me feel awoken. Picture this, neighbours a couple hundred metres up the road, a grass area to enjoy an outdoor meal, a veggie patch nearby to the kitchen and fresh eggs from the chook pens. Soon enough, babies came along, Heath and Oliver. And so did our first piglets, Reggie, Daisy-Mae, and Penelope (Which became a whole other story).
Being on maternity leave was like having leave from one job to fill another. The newest role that I had taken on though, had become my favourite – a mum and a small-scale farmer. Each day, I’d be kept busy changing nappies, tending to the garden, collecting eggs, milking the cow, and organizing with the butcher what cuts we wanted from our lamb reared on the farm. I loved it. And finally, I felt like I was walking the path I was meant too. It was the simple life, but it would turn into something so much more and meaningful as time went by.