It started as a little whisper, that small voice in the back of our minds, the quiet tug at our hearts.
When we went home to Gippsland in November for a very rushed and unexpected visit, it was our first time we had been home since moving to South Australia in April. We stayed with our parents, we walked on the beach at Inverloch, we met friends for coffee, we helped our nieces with their horse and motorbike, we sat on my mum’s front patio and marveled at our beloved rolling green hills. The rich soil of my childhood, where we thought we would raise our family, God’s country. We drove back west across the border with heavy hearts, part of us still firmly planted back east.
Christmas came, we shared our baby joy with our family at home again in Gippsland. Again, the little voice, the whisper. Our baby would be born in South Australia, far from our loved ones, hundreds of kilometres from our friends who were also starting their families. We were fine with this, life went on in our farmhouse we do love, we talked about our baby, what we would name him or her, what sort of parents we would be. Again, the little voice, the whisper.
Matt went back to work. Work. Work. Work. I continued growing a baby. We went back to life. Matt would work 80 hours + a week, I began to plan our baby’s nursery in our limestone farmhouse. Life went on. Like always, we questioned, we wondered – like we have done before – about the agricultural industry, about our future, about farming, about where it all sat and what it all meant.
Then the voice, the whisper, became louder. And stronger.
And then the phone rang.
My clever husband, so clever and so humble he doesn’t know it, has been offered an amazing opportunity – for him, for us. An opportunity which might, just maybe, allow us to own our own land, our own stock, our dream, one day. Closer. An opportunity which would mean an off-farm job, still in agriculture, but he would no longer be a farmer, I no longer a farmer’s wife. How did that sit with us? A big step. The next step? We thought, we talked, I prayed. A lot. I tend to do that. The pros, the cons, the boxes ticked, the phone calls, the advice, the gut feelings, the sleeplessness, the listening to that voice, the whisper which grew to a roar. Then, a decision made. The voice quietened while we made our choice.
In a few weeks, we will pack up our limestone farmhouse, we will wave goodbye to this chapter in our life, our time on the Limestone Coast. We will go home. We will be happy and content, my husband will be home with his wife and baby more, he will soar in his new role. I am so, so, so proud of him. I know his potential, I want others to see it too. I will be close to family and friends, the village who will raise our baby. Everything happens for a reason.
We’re hopeful. We’re happy. We’re headed home.
The words above are a little note I wrote to Matt in 2011, when things were hard, really hard, and we didn’t know which direction to turn or path to take. You and me, you and me.