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The Dry

On Nov 24th the Society of Women Writers are having a special ceremony at Waverley Cemetery to unveil a worthy gravestone for Dorothea Mackellar whose poem My Country is known by most Australians. This event has been inspired by author Libby Hathorn.

Mackellar’s lines, ‘ I love a sunburnt country…of droughts and flooding rains,’ encapsulates the experiences of many on the land. We have known great seasons and a few droughts but this year our small valley west of Scone, NSW has seen little rain, with the last decent falls occurring March.

Our paddocks are dun coloured and drab and they reveal the bleached white bones and skulls of animals that have been previously obscured by the tufts of grasses. As we move cattle into different paddocks, we are greeted by hundreds of roos and wild deer and there are signs of wild pigs also in the mud around our empty dams.

We optimistically look at the radar and hear the Bureau’s forecasts.I look at the sky and still hope for ‘the steady, soaking rain,’ and loudly sing Sara Storer’s song ‘Come on Rain!’ Maybe we should also begin a rain dance!