The Farmer’s Wife: Piece 16

daily bread
‘Daily Bread’- Wolfgang Foto- Flickr Creative Commons


She teaches me how to drive a car as if I was an extra sister or a daughter, so I can be free to leave my country home.  She says St Christopher will keep me safe when travelling and on the day of my driving test.

Country places are shocking for public transport and not being able to drive is like being in your own personal prison.  Especially when the big wet and sweltering heat come, and make you fade away with each step.

She’s much more than a farmer’s wife.  Yet, she is a farmer’s wife.

She dedicates herself to family as if it’s her truest vocation and not once ever is there a sense of regret.

She’s at every recital, concert, sporting carnival, P and C event and her loyalty never wavers.  She’s selling raffle tickets in the street.  She’s organising reunions, and trips overseas.  She’s not scared of seeing more of this world.

She’s found her fulfillment in others finding their dreams, like the best coaches who pull world records from people.  Every milestone for her children is their own world record.

She appreciates good teachers, who see more than cane farms and banana picking as outcomes for rural students.

She appreciates the behind scenes people to good teachers, and takes them under her wing, so they can find their dreams – adding them to her task list.

She doesn’t expect her sons will come back and take over the family farm; they will build new lives, wherever they choose.  But she’ll take every opportunity to build family connection spaces for them all to come together in the country way.  She’ll build these wherever she has to, even if it’s away from the country.

I can never be her, but I can see all the backbone she gives her family, this community.

There are many like her, the deeper one looks beneath the surface of country towns.

Whether her spirit of service, sacrifice and love will live on in her children is something neither of us will ever really see.

She’s the soul and spirit of all that is best in small country towns.

One day she and hubby will retire from the land, and the family oasis she built will be their new home.

She’ll ease his pain as he misses his tractor and the cane burns.  Like a wife of a solider returning from war, she will see his heart break as the farm goes to someone else’s son whose dreams lie in the land.

She’ll shake the soil off his clothes one more time. Counsel and laugh for them both.

She’ll remind him their daughter might be the country doctor one day.

She’s much more than a farmer’s wife.  Yet, she is a farmer’s wife.

She’s shaped the way I see the country now.   She’s given me the strength and some extra skills to be much more independent in my life.

to cut the bread
‘To Cut the Bread’ Wolfgang Foto – Flickr Creative commons

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.

State Elections Country Style

Easter Raffle Goods - June Perkins
Easter Raffle Goods – June Perkins

Election Day Queensland will be a day for me to remember conversations about Mum’s transitioning back into the work forces, how many creative people live in Murray Upper (potters, artists, and writers) and telling true inspiring tales of my Mum from Papua New Guinea.

It will also be a day to remember the enterprising nature of P and C Mums who have spent the last day baking cakes to raise money for their kid’s schools.

I love talking with Mums who are further along in the process than me, especially as I have a teenager who is going to be at university soon.  It is comforting to gain some prior advice and speak with people who know what I am going through right now.

There is something about the teenage years where youth enter a time of growth, freedom and identity formation that is their future.  Parents are learning how to be wings beneath wings and let their kids fly into their futures without making too many mistakes.  We’re both safety nets, coaches, and needing to let go parents and sometimes we need a team of community mentors to help us through this time.

Being a youth in the country has its own special challenges and its important to understand these when you live here.  One being employment opportunities for young people if they want to remain living in the country.

Country MPs lead an interesting life, and the best make it to all the local community events.  They open fetes, exhibitions, launches, and stand up for schools losing their music programs or dental vans.   Once they are there and active it is hard to imagine them moving on very often as people become used to people they trust being there.

It is less about politics and more about being a part of the community.  If only all governing was done more along these lines then we might have a country where cynicism about political processes and parties began to diminish.

Does all governing need to be tied to the idea of partisan politics?  Should it be more about principles, consultation and good governance?  What do you think?

Cake Stall Sign – Taken by June Perkins

(c) June Perkins