I’m mildly obsessed with Townsville this time of year. Its “winter” which means its 70 degrees all day every day and if it happen to get down to the 50s well then call that a freeze and break out the portable heaters you got on sale for $10 at the grocery store last year.
It also means that its dry season and hence the time for annual outdoor festivals to be planned. I tell you, Townsville has one almost every weekend from here until August.
I’m a sucker for a good, family event… especially a free one and especially especially one with free prizes. I love prizes. Its ridiculous, truly.
This weekend we went to Heritage Days. It is what our family refers to as the kickoff of festival season and it totally delivered this year. We took a bus ride through the old cemetery and found out there is quite a unique history; we tasted Aboriginal bush tucker and found out Max has quite a taste for crocodile; we took full advantage of the kids activities, got our cyclone tracker map, and enjoyed the company of good friends.
It reminded me how much I really, really do love our town. I suppose that if you’re going to head all the way around the world you might as well live somewhere you like.
It also reminded me the choices we make are what shape this little community. Its a regional city with a small town feel, despite the fact that the CBD is booming a bit with high rise apartments and there are more suits and ties and “tropical Friday” seems to be more and more rare. I love that we’re growing. We need to grow.
But I love that we can keep the small town feel while we do… the feeling that you know your neighbours, that you can head to the beach and see heaps of families and dogs and frisbees and kites, that if you forgot a nappy there is a sweet mama happy to lend one to you (happened once… massive parenting mishap… it was awesome)… the festivals that draw a crowd and bring us together and the feeling of running into someone you know and enjoying that smile of recognition that lights up their face and your heart.
It truly is delightful.
I’m so challenged to consider how we both give and take in our community. How we receive experience and joy and create those experiences and opportunity for others. We have to actually turn up at the events… the beach… the park. And we have to do our part to help make them happen… we volunteer… we donate toys and clothes to the family down the way who lost them in a house fire… we encourage… we give feedback (and not just the critical kind.)
I love that our little town has a heart. And I love that its the collective of 170,000 individuals that makes up that heart. And I love that our four hearts play a part in making it what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.