After many long, stressful years of drought, nothing compares to the first falls of rain.
The feeling of blessed relief rushes through your body, as the sweet scent of petrichor engulfs all your senses.
I felt a bit like this upon receiving the recent news that our battle to protect our country from the expansion of the New Acland coal mine had been successful in the High Court.
The relief flooded through my body as I absorbed the news, that for now at least - we would receive a temporary reprieve.
As I looked out at the paddocks that comprise my castle - a land of grazing cattle, healthy vegetation and abundant bird life - I couldn't help but feel a little like Darryl Kerrigan when he stood on the steps of the High Court in The Castle.
The David and Goliath battle was, for now at least, trending our way.
But, much like the flood of relief after rain - my relief was tempered by concern about what comes next.
For those of us worried about our farms, our community and our future, questions need to be answered and assurances must be given that protect local livelihoods and support strong communities here on the Downs.
There is still much more work to be done.
It's a lie if anyone tells you Oakey's future is completely dependent on a single industry - an industry which many of our major trading partners are already moving away from.
Our community, and our region are so much more than an asset on the company balance sheet.
I, for one, am old enough to remember a time when local businesses thrived, farming equipment was manufactured locally and our industries were diversified: the locals prospered, even to the point where we supplied the winners bouquets for the Sydney Olympics.
The paddocks which produced those bouquets now buried under a manufactured mountain of mine 'overburden'.
The truth is, far from bringing new hope - fossil fuel extraction has torn our community apart.
Long-standing residents like us no longer feel comfortable shopping in the regional supermarket, my local tiny town of Acland has been entirely extinguished and for those of us still farming around the mine, the past decade has been a period of unmatched stress and turmoil.
I don't like to spend too much time looking backwards and we can't just watch as our community continues to be fractured in the interests of corporate greed.
We need jobs, we need opportunity and most of all, we need real and lasting hope. It's time for us to heal, to look to the future and chart a path towards lasting prosperity.
Our region is, as it always has been, uniquely positioned to embrace a prosperous future - the Darling Downs are a natural jewel in Queensland's crown.
Ironically, the extraordinary fossil deposits which give rise to the extracted coal wealth, also contribute to prime agricultural country.
Our fertile floodplains and gently undulating hills are perfect for producing world-class dairy, beautiful cattle and the staples of many Aussie diets; wheat, sorghum, soybeans and more.
We have an international airport just down the road and at some stage - Inland Rail will become a reality.
We've been identified as a priority renewable energy zone.
A new hydrogen project has been announced just up the road. And, we are blessed with an extraordinarily skilled workforce - engineers, welders, fitters, mechanics, operators, farmers and innovators.
Perhaps we take full advantage of the crowds of manufacturers who flock to FarmFest each year and become the East Coast's leading agricultural manufacturing hub - fuelled by clean, cheap, reliable energy from renewables and powered by our local tradespeople.
Or perhaps we become a value added food production epicentre - exporting from Wellcamp to the world.
The way forward is ours for the choosing.
These decisions about our future shouldn't be driven by shareholder greed and relentless spreadsheets in far off boardrooms.
They need to be made out here, by those of us with genuine skin in the game; perhaps with our hands even a little dirty from milking cows, banging spanners or driving a Haulpac.
Made by those of us who love our region and want to see it thrive and prosper for future generations.
On the Southern side of our farm is a natural lookout. It's a beautiful place where I have found refuge from the David and Goliath battle of recent years.
A space I reflect, gaze upon the trees we have planted and the bird life we have welcomed. I know that the future for this region is filled with life and opportunity.
We have the ideas, we have the passion, and we're not afraid to work hard.
But we can't do it all on our own. It's time for the government to step up - to support regional economic diversification, create clean jobs and enable our transition to a future economy.
Our regional communities depend on it.
David Vonhoff is a Darling Downs dairy farmer.