On rainy days, Mum used to love saying ‘It’s good for the farmers!’.
As a child in the leafy suburbs of Sydney, it never really made those rainy days any better.
Who were these ‘farmers’ who seemed to enjoy bad weather? And didn’t they know we had post office, billy carts, french cricket or whatever happened to be the game of the month to get back to?
Here in the NSW Central Tablelands where farmers are still recovering from a multi-year drought and the predominant farming is sheep, a rainy day is a happy day.
When you head into town on a rainy Saturday there’s a heightened tone in the air as we breathe a sigh of relief that the sheep are being watered, the crops irrigated, the feed replenished, the young trees established and the water tanks topped up.
Living off-grid has connected me to the seasons in a way I never was before. It’s been 2.5 years and I notice the moods of the day, the changing of the light with each season, the phases of the moon – and yes, how long it’s been since the last ‘good’ rain.
The drought out here is over (for now) but I do remain astounded at the wastefulness of flushing our toilets with drinking water, running the tap while we brush our teeth and hosing the plates off to save us scraping them into the bin.
Indeed, it’s time to admit that Mum was right.