I always forget how big and generous the sky is over Barraba. The town is surrounded with rolling hills and beyond it to the west is an extinct volcano, Mount Kaputar, that marks the edge of the Northern Tablelands and stands above an escarpment to the Western Plains.

Since we’ve been here the escarpment has been pushing magnificent cumulous clouds into the air above us. Yesterday a cold front came over, iron-gray and purple. We timed our swim perfectly to finish before the storm broke over the town. Thunder and lightning and the dumping of five inches of rain into Dad’s rainwater tank and the putting out of power. My poor brother-in-law and niece were at the supermarket trying and failing to get the generator up and running when the lights came on again. Let us now give thanks for refrigerators full of unspoiled food.

Barraba after the rain smells like hope.

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