I LOVE the privacy and space at Spring Creek. We can make as much noise as we like and we'll never disturb anybody. I love it that I can't hear the neighbour's toilet flushing.
I hate the isolation; not seeing anyone face-to-face for days. I miss the lively conversation and different points of view.
I love waking up and choosing how to spend my day.
I hate having no pressure and miss the stimulation of deadlines.
I love my large country home that can accommodate lots of visitors at any time.
I hate the house mostly empty, rooms only entered for dusting and cleaning.
I love the green paddocks after rain.
I hate the unforgiving dry, dusty Traprock; its harshness and ever-threatening heartbreak.
I love the sound of the water babbling down the creek, the trickle and splash of mini waterfalls.
I hate the forsaken empty creek beds weaving through the paddocks.
I love the peacefulness of hearing only nature's sounds; it's healing to the soul.
I hate the cries at weaning time, mother and calf calling each other for days - another stolen generation.
I love playing jillaroo working the stock in the yards - climbing up and down the rails; the excitement of chasing cows up the race.
I hate to see the trembling weaner collapsed in the crush, unable to move, frozen in fear.
I love feeding the stock as they jostle and bustle so close you can touch them.
I hate to see a calf trapped and injured - their head stuck in the hay feeder or their hoof caught in a fence.
I love the trust that's built when I can pat a cow's head or rub her neck.
I hate the shrivelling carcass of a cow found dead, too late to save.
I love the wet inquisitive nose of a new born calf too young to be afraid when you come so near.
I hate the piercing cry of a calf wedged in the yards, jammed by its own frenetic struggle.
I love the sight of a new born calf wobbling as it tries to stand and take its first suckle.
I hate the tiny limp dead body when a calf is lost and the heart-rending cries of its frantic mother.
But overall, I guess, I love the challenge of new experiences. There is no doubt that living here has expanded and grown my sense of the world; increased my understanding of life and has broadened my perceptions.
I suppose that's why I'm still here. I wonder what new experience is yet around the corner.
Thanks for sharing these columns with me. I hope you have enjoyed them and been able to relate, even in some small way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.