As I sit down to write this, it starts raining.
There are smiles from my parents. They look at each other and laugh.
The rain hits the tin roof and the house is filled with that familiar smell of water on dirt, and boy has it been a long time coming. But it’s not the end, not by a long shot.
It didn’t rain in January for us but now there is a glimpse of hope from what has been a tough and depressing four months.
Will this rain last? No. But it is a tiny glimpse of hope for a man who has been battling watch his stock get thinner every day, and watching his property get drier and drier, and at the moment it is nothing but dirt.
I am not a farmer but I come from a long line of farmers and graziers who have seen drought many times before.
My father has spent his whole life on the land, and watching him come to terms with the reality that he will have to sell half his cattle to feed the rest of his stock and his family – the fact that there will be no income until late this year but a lot of expense – is bloody gut wrenching.
But it’s not just him or my family; it’s our neighbours, our friends, and the rest of the Australian population who live their lives on the land.
We watch the animals we care for suffer, starve and die. There is nothing we can do but put them out of their misery.
We find our cattle stuck in a dam, too thirsty to move but too weak to climb out.
We sell our stock for a mere profit, or left to eat specks of dirt in a paddock living on hope that it will get better.