The Farmer’s Wife

She teaches me how to drive a car as if I was an extra sister or a daughter, so I can be free to leave my country home. She says St Christopher will keep me safe when travelling and on the day of my driving test.

Many country places, especially this one, are shocking for public transport and not being able to drive is like being in your own personal prison. Especially when the big wet and sweltering heat come, and make you fade away with each step.

She’s much more than a farmer’s wife. Yet, she is a farmer’s wife.

She dedicates herself to family as if it’s her truest vocation and not once ever is there a sense of regret.

She’s at every recital, concert, sporting carnival, P and C event and her loyalty never wavers. She’s selling raffle tickets in the street. She’s organising reunions, and trips overseas. She’s not scared of seeing more of this world.

She’s found her fulfillment in others finding their dreams, like the best coaches who pull world records from people. Every milestone for her children is their own world record.

She appreciates good teachers, who see more than cane farms and banana picking as outcomes for rural students.

She appreciates the behind scenes people to good teachers, and takes them under her wing, so they can find their dreams – adding them to her task list.

She doesn’t expect her sons will come back and take over the family farm; they will build new lives, wherever they choose. But she’ll take every opportunity to build family connection spaces for them all to come together in the country way. She’ll build these wherever she has to, even if it’s away from the country.

I can never be her, but I can see all the backbone she gives her family, this community.

There are many like her, the deeper one looks beneath the surface of country towns.

Whether her spirit of service, sacrifice and love will live on in her children is something neither of us will ever really see.

She’s the soul and spirit of all that’s best in small country towns.

One day she and hubby will retire from the land, and the family oasis she built will be their new home.

She’ll ease his pain as he misses his tractor and the cane burns. Like a wife of a solider returning from war, she will see his heart break as the farm goes to someone else’s son whose dreams lie in the land.

She’ll shake the soil off his clothes one more time. Counsel and laugh for them both.

She’ll remind him their daughter might be their country doctor one day.

She’s much more than a farmer’s wife. Yet, she is a farmer’s wife.

She’s shaped the way I see the country now. She’s given me strength and extra skills to be much more independent in my life.


First published ABC Open, 500 words, Someone who Shaped me, November 2012


Comments made on the ABC Open blog

  • June Perkins

    Yes, there are some truly brilliant women in the country, they constantly amaze me with their sheer resilience through all times. Thanks Vera as always for taking the time to stop and read stories like this and leave a comment.

  • Vera Rayson

    Beautiful story and beautiful written June. You indeed blessed to have known her.

  • Frances Sbrocchi

    Wonderful person, and wonderful painting. Fran

  • June Perkins

    She’s a very special person and I am blessed to know her. I know there are many more like her.

  • Julie McKenzie

    Love this woman June!

  • daisy

    very nice


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