We left Sydney at a reasonable hour and arrived in Rannock to a very warm welcome. The farm, as expected was a little out of Rannock. Now Rannock itself, is in the physical centre of Wagga Wagga to the south, Temora to the north, Cootamunda to the east and Narrandera to the west. I could not exclaim like that very colourful and humourous Australian tourism promotional: "Where the …............ is Rannock"
The main south railway town of Junee along with Wagga Wagga are the closest regional shopping centres and that is a good one and a half hour drive. It seemed as though Rannock was in the middle of nowhere!
There are huge grain storage vats at Rannock being part of the Riverina bread basket and for that matter, the bread basket of New South Wales. A quick look on the internet on www.realestate.com.au for Rannock will illustrate there are places for sale in the surrounding districts as people move in and out of the region. In this sense Rannock is no different to anywhere else.
There is a significant freight trucking hauling business based in Rannock and like any rural community in the Riverina wheat belt, the people stand by each other when drama strikes, and come together and party for their celebrations: weddings, birthdays, Easter, Christmas, when someone returns after being away. In fact any time is good for a party around Rannock!
A fantastic weekend in Rannock
My friends and I had a fantastic time in Rannock. It was relaxing and at the same time a very entertaining break from 'city life'. The people made it entertaining. "Country life" and people who are "characters" are like a hand in a glove.
On the Saturday we were helping de-tag some lambs. Ironically its the little ones that put up a fight. The larger lambs seem to resign themselves to the process as you get them ready to be de-tagged.
Saturday afternoon we did a tour of the property and when we were driving around, to us, city young people, it was all very interesting. We also found a tiny lamb on the wrong side of the fence. We were told they can squeeze through tiny spaces but then cannot find their way back through the same section of fence.
This lamb was calling out to his mum 'baa baa' - that's what it seemed like to us experienced farmers of "five minutes". We quickly jumped the fence and set the little lamb on the correct side of the fence where it soon ran off to join "what we assumed was mum" with the rest of the flock.
I could not help but think of the 'Parable of the Lost Sheep'. Who knows what would have happened to that little lost lamb had we not found him. The lamb may have survived the windy night alone, but the flock by then would have moved on.
I'm home now, back in Sydney after my 'farm' fun weekend at Rannock. I've reflected upon the parable and how it reminded me that in some way, each of us, including me, have been a lost sheep at one time or another.
The Bible reminds us that Jesus will always tend to His flock and look after each and every lamb. For me, as a young person, that is of much comfort.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is an under-graduate student.
Christopher Archibald's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html