It’s funny how life can change. Right now I’m sitting in the sun, looking over terraced rosemary and old-man saltbush hedges toward the stone shearing shed and rocky hills beyond. I just finished a coffee, and the kids are being taught by two generous and skilled volunteer Govvies. The dog is chasing lizards in the garden despite me yelling at her, and my ankle is twinging, reminding me of our emu egg hunt the evening before.
It was only a few short months ago that I was neck deep in a troubled classroom in Broken Hill, attempting to teach an overflowing class of kids amidst the horrific stories and pain they carried into school each day. It was difficult to see much hope for the future in that snapshot of the next generation, although the resilience that some of the kids demonstrated put me to shame. On the flip side, my son just ran past, jumped on a pogo stick while saying his times tables, then ran off to play with his pet lizard, grinning almost as much as the dog beside him. A visitor to the property once said to me before she drove away, ‘these kids out on properties are some of the most underprivileged kids in todays society.’ I have to disagree.