I often get asked why would you choose to live in a rural area when it’s – ‘so far from everything’, with ‘neighbours you can’t see’ or ‘you have to drive to get anywhere’.
My answer has always been the same. It’s what I love about the area; the open space, the independence, the opportunities it offers our children to understand the elements and fundamentals of life.
But most importantly, no matter how far away neighbours are, they are always close when you need them.
The last 5 days have been a huge reminder of this, in what’s been an immensely trying situation for many within the community that I am proud to call my own.
Impacted by an uncontrollable fire, families have been left protecting their homes and defending their livelihoods. They’ve watched as their businesses, grown from the ground up, were destroyed and animals that form part of their family left behind.
Many were forced to flee, and left wondering for days if they have a home to return to, or if their animals have survived.
The strength of community is amazing, no matter whether it’s ten or one hundred acres separating these neighbours. They are there for each other.
Many have selflessly left their own under-threat homes to assist neighbours many kilometers away; helping to move livestock, pack-up homes, housing families and their animals and doing whatever it takes to make them safe – all whilst not knowing what is happening at their place.
While it’s not always the most convenient, this is the reason why I chose to live in a rural area. It teaches our children to look out for each other, shows them strength in difficult life events and the importance of being part of a community, no matter how far spread your neighbours are.