Across the table

Host: Callanna Station
Written by Lucy Goldspink

I now see drought from another angle.

I have always been on the land, but now I live in a small city 380kms from my new husband.

There are a few reasons for the change; opportunity, and mounting pressure, both financial and personal. It hasn’t rained at home (or most of the state really) properly since 2017 and it affects everyone differently. After a phone call and a job offer, I moved away in November 2018 to work for the Government.

I’m now on the other side. I am now the nuisance that farmers/station owners have to deal with when it comes to Natural Resource Management.

I see the drought and the pressures that come with it from another angle. I work in a different area to which I used to live so I am meeting and engaging with a new but similar crowd.

In reflection, I have found that at home you can get so easily caught up in how the drought affects you and your livelihood and get so busy that you get tunnel vision. It happened to us! You just get busy looking after yourself and your family, it’s human nature.

Now I sit across the dining table from a husband and wife duo having a cup of tea, while their kids run around outside. We talk about what’s been going on, eyes well up, tears flow and the husband squirms awkwardly wanting to get the hell out of there because it’s too hard to talk about, or they don’t have time for it. It’s grounding. You aren’t the only ones just trying to get through.

I try to bring a level of familiarity in my new job to show them that you aren’t just another government employee who doesn’t understand. I genuinely want to help, because in a few years that could be me sitting in across the table talking to someone.

I now see my new husband every other weekend, if we’re lucky. It was 5 weeks during March. He works away from home now and doesn’t get time to come and see me so I do most of the travel. We are just doing what we have to do to hopefully get ahead one day. I am grateful though, because at least we have the freedom and opportunity to work away and be apart without having children to complicate things. A lot of other families are confined without much option other than to wait for it to rain. Let’s just hope the rain isn’t too far away.

*Disclaimer; this is a blog written from my experience and I recognise that it’s not all doom and gloom for everyone, and some people are handling everything very well.*