My son has just turned 21. We moved here the day he was due.
Tim was born right here, peacefully and safely at home. I guess that makes him a local.
He is well and truly all grown up now – a mature man with his own business.
He came home to play the other day.
Tim has graduated from playing Tonka trucks in the paddock to operating the huge machines that make mountains into molehills.
He climbed into the yellow cabin of a 20 tonne excavator and made short work clearing a mess of privet, lantana and scrubby wattles in the beautiful part of our property where the tall gums grow. We named this place after the towering Tallowood trees.
He knew what he was doing. It’s instinctive and he’s wanted to do that for years.
Life has come full circle.
In our first year here, I had a bee in my bonnet to tackle the bush and tame it. We had all that beautiful space and land. It just needed clearing.
We had five children under 10 and then baby Tim joined the crew.
There were so many things I’d dreamed of doing.
Building a swing in a big tree and clearing the way for a long flying fox was on that list.
Undaunted and naive, I ventured out into the bush with the children, wielding a big brush hook, wearing my baby boy in the mei tai sling.
Slashing and bashing through lantana with a vengeance, I had my eye on clearing to a beautiful big native fig tree. I could just imagine the swing!
After three days I was angry, frustrated and utterly, tearily exhausted. I could hardly summon the strength to cook tea.
My husband, who wasn’t involved because he was busy working elsewhere, kindly sat me down with these wise words.
“Stay inside the fence.”
It was such a relief that I didn’t have to feel responsible for 27 acres all at once.
We narrowed it down to two around the house and built a swing set instead. It’s hardly been used to be honest.
A few years ago, Tim and his youngest brother, Daniel were busy outside. I was busy inside and didn’t really take any notice of what they were up to.
They were busy for days. I was happy they were happy working together.
“Mum, come and see what we’ve been doing.” I put that off until I finally did follow them out.
Out into the wild bush around the Tallowoods.
The boys had cleared the whole area around the fig tree...and they had rigged up a big rope swing.