Sunday, 31 December 2023 12:55

Another year done!

Written by  Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller
Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller

OPINION: Well another year is rapidly ending and 2023 will shortly be consigned to the history files. Where has it all gone?

I’m heading home as I sit at my keyboard today. I’ve been in the nation of Myanmar for nine days and am flying back through Perth WA. I’m dropping in to see our younger daughter and her family; with Christmas just around the corner it was too good of an opportunity to miss.

It may have been a good year for you. Or perhaps more of a ho-hum year. Maybe even a much sadder year, as you farewelled a loved one from this life.

Life has its ups and downs, its twists and turns come for every one of us. We all get to face stuff; sometimes they’re nice sunny days – other times it’s more like raging tidal waves. But life goes on and we can too.

Friends truly are a ‘must have’ when the rough weather shows up and sets in! A rather pertinent short quote would fit in nicely at this point – “Friendship is a sheltering tree.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Farmers are definitely having a challenging end of year. This most probably continues at the start to the year ahead as well, with the livestock schedules the way they are at the moment. As on-farm costs have spiraled and incomes dropped, it’s not hard to figure the end result. Drawing from my experiences through the years, I have to say farmers have always showed themselves a resilient bunch.

Probably three or four years back, I was given a copy of champion shearer Tom Brough’s book The Way It Was. I really enjoyed the read and would highly recommend it. His parents’ generation faced many challenges unique to their particular times. They had to face some rough weather and walk through some ‘hard-yards’. But they made it through ok. Yep, their resilience, that rural toughness was very evident with that generation.

Like many of our readers will, I well remember when the incoming government of 1984 removed all the farm subsidies. I am not saying it was right or wrong, that’s not my point. What I am saying is it suddenly presented huge challenges that farmers had to adapt quickly to.

I was personally acquainted with some that pretty much choked as a result. However, in general, famers rolled up their sleeves and just got on with it! I do recall that being able to stand together with other farming friends helped immensely. Those with an active, personal faith found that a huge help too. Yes, the same is still true today.

The Way It Was FBTW

The Way It Was by Tom Brough

So… let me suggest here, if you happen to have a neighbour or perhaps know someone who is struggling, make that phone call or drop in and chat for a bit. Perhaps even invite them round for a coffee. Anything is better than nothing – it lets them know they are not alone, which is always a plus in today’s world!

This column sees me signing off for ‘23. My thanks to the Rural News team for their support for our farming families, and for hosting my column this year. And thanks to those of you who have emailed me too, I always appreciate hearing from you!

Be sure to grab a breather and some R&R with family and friends, over the Christmas and New Year holiday breaks.

From me to you, my sincere best wishes for the season ahead.

You’re not alone. God Bless.

To contact Colin: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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