The cottage farmhouse is older than my dad and, jokingly, is a living museum. Tracey, the host, has kept and is using her father’s furniture and household appliances. She showed me a photo of her as a baby in the house and I noticed that the
Body shop products adorn a rough finished wooden dresser and designer jeans and lace bras hang beside farm shirts on a forty five year old laundry cart. 3 litre plastic milk bottles filled with recycled wash water are lined up on the toilet floor. After every flush a bottle is emptied into the cistern.
Tracey recycles everything. Including memories and spirit. She’s surrounded by spirit, paddock people, who help her on the farm. When her father died she inherited the farm and has had to learn to farm. Spirit and the spirit of the earth have helped her. Everything happens at the right time, not at her time. She doesn’t farm or live like her father did. She’s stubborn, a modern woman living a sustainable and unselfish life, not a minimalistic one.
We had discussed moving the cows and the old bull. The bull, carrying an injury, had gone bush every time Tracey had attempted to move him. She let him be. This time the bull followed the cows as we moved them. On the way past the yards he separated from the cows and calves and stopped in the yard paddock. We shut the gate. The next day Tracey returned to the farm to drench the bull. He had walked into the yard and was waiting for her. These types of events happen all the time.
This visit, Tracey and I walked from the bull’s paddock to the saltwater lake. Unknown to her the walk was a conversation between her and her guide. Her guide, Emu man, an aboriginal, lived on the farm thousands of years ago. He and Tracey were brothers. Tracey has always been interested in aboriginal history and she still has the book she read as a child with photos of aboriginals in it. She’s told me she always looked at the photos and had an affinity with indigenous culture and peoples.
|Emus left of white tree trunk|
On the walk we saw two emus and two black cockatoos flew directly at Tracey and landed in branches above her. They squawked, what’s up? Tracey knew they were talking to her. On the way back Tracey walked over a small emu feather. Emu feathers have two feathers coming from one quill. One was broken. Emu Man was talking to his brother: two emus, two cockatoos and two feathers always connected. Tracey startled the emus. Emu Man startles Tracey. Tracey’s heart is aching—the broken feather. She misses her dad. “What’s up?”
It’s black fella and white fella business. Emu
Love. That’s why I’m at Seaspray.
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