Since I married a grazier or farmer as some would like to say, never in my life had I been interested in silence. I know, one would think this would be the weather, the scenery, the animals or the paddocks but I have decided it’s silence. We all drive in Australia our land is vast and spacious, so getting around can require long ‘road trips’ for me getting to the city and back is a 6 hour trip, I have done this on many occasions in one day, there is no option to fly, no airfield and no private plane is parked at my house nor in the town. Keith does have an airstrip which lands the RFDS, and other flying machines but there is no commercial service available.
I travel and note the scenery and changes to it with the seasons, the land is dry and the paddocks and hills are still brown considering we are now in the middle month of Autumn. I love the greenery of the Adelaide Hills it always reminds me of winter – my favourite season. It is a time when my grazier husband can relax, there is food around, there is water and the dams fill. we can have fire which provides warmth and comfort on those cold winters night.
I come to Adelaide a lot, not as much as I would like but a lot more than him, and it is here I realize that I miss it. The silence at night, the calls of animals the sounds of wind, rain, leaves rustling, stillness, roosters and dogs barking, it is a comforting silence. It is the noise of the land that allows you to lie in bed awake in the dark in peace. To really feel the soul of the earth is to hear the sounds of silence. We do get the occasional noise of a truck or car but this is rare and it is not a constant drone that seems to descend upon the city.
The sounds of the night I can hear are cats jumping on fences, cars constantly moving, droning through the night like they are looking for something. The noise level is defined by the size of the vehicle, trucks and cars make very different patterns on the road surfaces and keep coming in succession. Where is the sound of nothing? even after the vehicle has passed you can hear the next one coming, there is no rustling of leaves, no silence of the land as it rests ready to be woken at dawn.
The city is always awake the land never appears to rest, it is always assisting. I enjoy the city, it is alive but so too is the country, both offer many things, lifestyles, life choices and for me both are vital to my happiness and future growth. Living where I do is special and we try to leave the land value added rather than take away it’s value. Having the luxury of a welcoming bed at my daughters or parents place or hotel gives me the best of both world, though I now find I do sleep much better in the country.