Rural Reflections #21

Tired, exhausted and distracted with life… that I have neglected to write for you and for me.  That underlying passion that sparks my soul when I use my thoughts and words to connect with my life… it has been simmering beneath the breeze.

But I am back, still tired, still distracted, but ready to reflect once again.  I have been busy with farming, business life, new business ventures, voluntary activities and now my health has taken priority.  Why is it so hard for women to put themselves first and value their own health status?  Usually, it is when our health fails us, that we decide to make it more of a priority.

Another sinus surgery to follow-up from last year, has left me feeling tired, as my office work started to pile up.  Starting to get back on top of it, yet distracted by means of too many roles to participate in.  I have been reflecting on the important things in life.  My health, my family and my passion.

I look back over the years… proud of success, learning from failures and connecting with many people, making a difference in this world.  Success comes in so many forms.  But so many people focus on success being an overall goal.  This is so untrue and can leave people feeling unnecessary disappointment.

Success is all the little things that you do throughout every day of your life.  Success is teaching your child good manners.  Success is ensuring your partner feels loved.  Success is bringing happiness into someone else’s life.  The small things that good people just do without a conscious thought… that is real success.

So rather than focusing on the happy marriage, the new car, the dream home or the ideal job that you will get one day… focus on those little successful events throughout your day.  And remember that disappointment or failure is just a lesson to teach us there is another way or something better around the corner.

So today I share with you a photo taken in 2010 from another farming property of mine.  A farm that holds many memories of my sons teenage years.  A farm called “Kokoda” between Inverell and Glen Innes NSW.

A farm that brings me joy when I reflect… but also sadness for a time when my husband had broken a vertebrae in his back as a result of a Quadbike farm injury, only 4 years ago.  A serious injury that my dear husband has now thankfully overcome.

Life happens, injuries happen… but it is how we get through it and how we move forward that is important.  It is during this very stressful time that I realised how lucky I really was.  Lucky to have a loving husband and lucky to have 2 sons to support us through this tough time.

Life will always have ups and downs… for each and every one of us.  This photo that I share is a reflection upon times gone by and a reminder to just appreciate the beauty and tranquil surrounds.

Rural Reflection #21…

21 Times Gone By at Kokoda

image subject to copyright

I love this photo for the good memories it arouses in me.  The beautiful natural green pastures with a sprinkling of white clover.  The memories of our Hereford cattle beneath those trees chewing their cuds.  Memories of family mustering and enjoying each others company.  Good memories stay with us, wherever we are.

So as life moves on, our memories are retained within, and we pursue new chapters within our lives.  When you reflect on your life… you really can see how successful you are every single day.  Cherish those experiences and enjoy what life brings your way.  You never know what is around the corner.

Take care,

Karen.

“Success is not in what you have,

but who you are”.

~Bo Bennett, Author

 

Rural Reflections #4

Hope and memories exist somewhere within us all.  This widespread drought has left farmers and rural communities battling every day… which is a reminder that we all need time to just stop and reflect.

Memories seem to find warmth from within us.  Those memories of a time when a season was able to produce food and fibre, with only the usual effort on the farm.  Farm production without the mental tribulations, physical exhaustion and financial debilitation.  Time to enjoy life… time to spend with our families… time to feel content.  A time we all yearn for once again.

This weekend I did stop, relax and reflect a little… a feeling and action that seemed so long lost.  A reminder that time with our loved ones is essential for all… and time to take care of yourself.  I needed to find this place… a moment where I could bring back hope.  This hope… or feeling of desire… for our season to break, for the heavens to open and rain soak into our paddocks and fill our tanks and dams.  For this rain to wash away our stress, our weariness and our pessimism.  One day it will happen… we are one day closer to rain every day.

So today I would like to share this photo with you, to show that hope is only around the corner.  This photo was taken in July 2017, at the end of a good Winter season, as sheep fatten for sale on the green grass.  It also depicts a storm to the east over Tamworth NSW.

Rural Reflection #4…

04 A Distant Storm Overlooking the Sheep

image subject to copyright

I showed this photo to my husband, and at first, he didn’t even recognise it to be our property.  Sadly, the scenery now is paradoxical to back then.  Now every day is a vision of thick dust and short dry vegetation sparsely consuming the paddocks… and more so have consumed our lives.

I really like this photo because of how it depicts the storm in the background yet the sun shining brightly on the sheep feeding on the green grass.  It symbolises the intensity of how farming relies on storms and rain to continue our production effectively.  It also illustrates diversity within rural areas, and only 20km away the weather can differ so dramatically.

We may not be able to control the weather and a farmer knows best as they gamble every day upon the odds.  But we can have some form of control regarding how we respond to the drought, how we prepare for the drought and how we protect our families mental state in the meantime.  In any industry and family situation it is important to retain our optimistic state of mind and take care of each other.

It is now more than ever, we need to focus on our memories of the good seasons on the farm.  A time that will return to us once again.  Hold on to hope, enjoy time with your family as you anticipate a better season soon and remember we will get through this… together.

Take care, Karen.

“The greater your storm,

the brighter your rainbow.”

~ Author Unknown

Memories in Grief bear the Miracle of Life

That feeling when your heart is ripped out, the numbness, the intense sorrow, privately grieving the loss of a loved one.  Too many beautiful people have been taken from this earth, taken from their loving families.  The pain is so real and never leaves, over time you just learn how to tuck it safely away.

Today, for 2 reasons, I am inspired to write about grief and loss but also about the miracle of birth.  A blessing that manifolds during times when one feels so broken-hearted.

I was so drawn into the pain and despair experienced by a fellow blogger Blessed Moments -n- Memories.  I can’t even imagine the pain and sorrow she would be experiencing with the loss of her son.  As a mother, I know that would be the absolute worst pain ever to have to bear.  My heart broke for this stranger, my empathy was overflowing.  What a brave and honest women, to be able to share her pain in this modern way, to help someone else or to help heal herself or to honour his memory.  This beautiful soul also announced of the miracle… she will soon celebrate the birth of her first grandchild.  Her words “As I continue to grieve for the loss of my son, I will witness a miracle” is simply stated and enormously heartfelt.

After reading and commenting on this ladies blog, I realised this was my topic for today, in memory of a dear family friend lost in a farming accident several years ago.  Today would have been his birthday.  A man who was so kind-hearted, helpful and the hardest worker I have ever known.  A man that was always there and a big part of my childhood, a dear friend of my parents.  I still remember those birthday cakes we used to make you and how you used to let us put little bows/ribbons in your hair when you needed a haircut (You were such a good sport!).  A man that never had a nasty word to say about anyone and was so selfless and thoughtful.  He is fondly remembered today and sadly missed by all his friends.

But his family, crushed by the sudden loss, a wife and 2 adult children pregnant with his grand-children.  Hearts broken as tragedy was thrown upon them, yet the strength that this family had, was incredible.  A husband, a father, and almost a grandfather… sadly gone.  The agony remains… but so do the memories.  Memories of good times, memories of a good man.  He is gone, but never forgotten.

His legacy now lives in his 2 beautiful daughters and his 4 grandchildren.  Never met but constantly and contently watching over them all from above.  These 4 little miracles brought into this world to give them all strength and courage to continue in life.  One by one, they arrive… a reminder that life goes on.  Two young ladies developing their new maternal roles, challenged, yet passionate mothers they are.  And a dedicated grandmother enjoying those children with laughter and delight, even in her husband’s absence.  I know he would be so proud of the loving family he now watches over… each and every one of them.

Surrounded by memories and a life to continue… acknowledged by this resilient family and my fellow blogger.  Strength is what you find when you have no other choice.  As mind, body and spirit are depleted… it is more important than ever to find the strength, courage and support to survive the turmoil.  Nobody can take those beautiful memories from you, so let them be the reason you will endure the pain.  And focus on the miracle of life and enjoy those little things with your loved ones.

Rest in Peace my friend.

Take care, Karen.

“You are BRAVER than you believe,

STRONGER than you seem,

SMARTER than you think,

and LOVED more than you’ll ever know”

~ A.A. Milne

(From the book Winnie the Pooh)

loss of loved one