Every now and then I find myself in a crowd of people who have known me since I was a child, they are not blood related but it feels as if we are related in a special kind of way. I know their family, they know mine, and we all care about each other, even though we may only see each other so briefly every year or two. I’m in my hometown.
It’s the ladies who worked in the tuck-shop at school, my youth pastors, families from churches, parents of the kids I went to school with, the kids who are now all grown up and having kids of their own. Now a new mob of children are running wild together, another generation to grow up in this extended type of family, that spans ages, cultures, churches, schools, across Cairns.
I love that the adults who were adults when I was a child are now my friends and now that I’m an adult I enjoy even more of them when I see them. It’s like when I got married and moved out, my parents became my friends on another level because now they didn’t have to “parent” me. I stand on my own with my own husband and children. I now have an acting part in a circle of people I have always respected.
Maybe its just my nostalgic self or maybe others notice it too, that feeling of belonging and comfort being with people who have known you forever.
A lot of people don’t live in their hometown anymore, in fact most young things here in Cairns finish school and try the best they can to take off south to Bris-Vegas (Brisbane), to live the dream on the small income of a student, with usually extra “help” from Mum and Dad. Many return with a degree, some without, some never come back at all.
For the rest of us country bumkins who stayed up North in the heat and rain we have continued on going to rusty’s markets, walking the red arrow, going to crystal cascades, shopping at Cairns Central, and day tripping to the Atherton Tabelands. There is still the debate on where is the better place to live, North or South of Cairns? I will settle it once and for all, it’s North 😉
My sister can testify that even though it was exciting to live in the big city, another state wear you actually get to buy scarves and wear them, eventually the freshwater creeks and familiar warm environment and family can call you back. Taking your kids to the same places you went as a child, buckling down for a cyclone, driving around to see if the Freshwater roundabout is under the water and walking past cane fields. This feels like home.
And then you see all the people that made up your life as you grew up. I find that I never think anyone has aged! I look at the parents of the kids I went to school with and I never feel like they look any different to when they did when I was at school. I guess the age difference never changes so neither does my idea of how old they are, I wonder if I look the same to them.
I’m sure not everyone feels the same way about their hometown or the people they grew up with. But I feel very, very blessed to grow up where I am, to have had all the different families input into my life. Someone literally just said to me “I want to be around people that actually care about me”.
That’s where I am, I know that here, I will never be homeless or hungry or without an ear to hear me. I matter and am deeply cared about, along with my husband and children. I don’t have to explain much, these people know me, they know my family, they know my faith.
I have huge dreams and destinations to carry them out in, but I will always come home to Cairns. xox