The road from Moree to Collarenebri was unusually busy. As the miners’ dusty dreams are carried from the beneath the ground, harvester dust was in the air as their GPS’s plotted the gathering of a wealth unseen through the previous 6 years of drought. The tourists seem to vanish with the heat but our western towns seemed busy as the diesel pumps worked overtime to keep the grain moving. Copious amounts of coffee, the colour of the Barwon River, were being consumed in the usually quiet streets of Collarenebri and among truckies lined up for the bowsers in Walgett. It won’t be long before the completion of the new IGA in Walgett and when it is, if the harvest is any indication, it would seem the aisles will fill again with a little more hope.
Dave at the Newsagent finds time for a chat about rifles and hunting between phone calls to try to fix computer connections. I imagine a miracle might be required to rectify that kind of problem as far west as Walgett. We talk of the need for more love among people and I think we agree it is an area of growth for us all. I’m introduced to Robyn who mends torn clothes and delivers them repaired. In the city they’d just throw away the old and buy some more but perhaps those mended jeans are an emblem of resilience and determination to survive in a situation where waste is unthinkable. Tough times can teach good lessons! As the grain piles lift like sand hills on the horizon one wonders if lessons hard taught might be too quickly forgotten in better times.
Though the future may be uncertain and the rain still needs to fall, I felt an infectious sense of optimism like that which comes with the early days of spring. The ground was now producing a harvest and the weariness from harvesting looked nothing like the weariness accompanying the drought’s despair. A patchwork cloth of browns and greens is returning to reveal the joy of harvest and the promise of the newly planted.
I know we face the problems of Covid19 and those of the world. But as the drought wanes, rivers like the Barwon fill and the crops are plentiful, there are things to be thankful for. Don’t miss what we can be thankful for. Thankfulness is healthy and it needs to be exercised regularly so that we won’t be overwhelmed by anxiety and depression. Think! What have you got to be thankful for?
During the drought many across our region met for prayer, asking God to provide relief. Our Prime Minister called the nation to prayer. “I am praying for rain” were words used by church attenders and non-attenders. For some, dependence upon God for help was obvious, while for others desperation made prayer an option. Whatever the case, if the harvest is plentiful, it is time for us all to thank God for His providence. The next time you sit down for a meal you might consider pausing before the first mouthful to thank God for drought breaking rain, for our farmers and for all the services and towns that support them to bring the fruit of the land to our tables.
Out where people seek their fortunes, where the bore baths run therapeutically hot, where the emu and chicks graze quietly and the fence lines stretch the horizon, there is much for us to be thankful for. I pray you know who to thank.
Out there or close by, life can know all sorts of conditions and if you are going through a personal drought or feel hailed upon at the moment, talk to someone. Try praying, God will listen. I can assure you that if Jesus Christ was prepared to die for you to make you right with God then God is committed to your resurrection from the worst of places to the best. There is hope for us all.