Walking

Walking along a dusty trail made by the farmer’s trucks. Traversing the place over the decades gives you a good idea of how the land changes over time. You get an even better idea of the way the land moves if you do this wandering once or twice a month for a couple of years.

The seasonal change around here is stark. Bleak cold winters that freeze the ground and make you forget what a warm day feels like. Compared with blisteringly hot summers that force you to take afternoon naps, to seek shade and will make you take a rest after only walking the 100-150 meters it takes to get to the next paddock gate. But there is a barren beauty to it all. You don’t notice the seasonal changes in the farmer’s trees (unlike most other places) for the farmers around here planted evergreens. Hardy pine trees serve as wind breaks for most of the paddocks, as shelter from the worst of the weather for the animals. They planted the pines for this was a grassy sea when people first came to farm here. They didn’t have the time to care for gumtrees. They don’t grow thick with branches and needles to protect the ground, and they will take time to grow before their roots are of any use in protecting and holding down the topsoil.

No the real change to note, as the seasons pass is how the light glows upon an afternoon. In summer it is bright, hot, almost biting, in autumn though the sun is still brilliant most days the afternoon sky is pregnant with the promise of rain. It almost never delivers a single drop, much to the farmer’s distress. In winter the skies are a blue grey and the sun takes on a sharp white feel to it that makes you squint, yet there is no warmth radiating down on you as your nose slowly goes numb. Then spring comes and an afternoon stroll down the dusty lane ways the most serene thing that life around here has to offer. The air is cooling after a pleasantly temperate day, but it isn’t cold yet. The evening sun is low in the sky and everything takes on this golden, rose gold hue, the grass and the trees, the animals and even you. It is one of those freeze time and bundle it up in your pocket kind of moments, just so you can have it to look upon when the days are harder.

However I highly endorse a country walk at any time of day or the year. Take the dogs and just start walking where the gates take you, you never know, by the time you get back your mind might just have wandered onto something wonderful as well.