Something inside me yearns for community. A sort of community that doesnt exist in many places anymore, with quirky locals and charming backwards ways, insular tendancies and real neighbours. Ones who bring in your washing for you, or swap produce, local business owners who know you by name and ask about your family.
You see my husband and I grew up in a place like that, in a small coastal town called Avalon, you may have heard of it #Avalonnow. Back in the 80’s (and 70’s in hubbys case) it was just that sort of place. You couldnt go 5 metres without bumping into someone you knew, the local bakery gave away dinner rolls to every child who walked past and the chip shop happily sold you 20 cent worth of chips to go on it. I grew up playing in the local community centre with my bestie who lived there, meeting incredible authentic people and runing round the streets without supervision. Sadly, although #avalonnow is still a beautiful place (in fact I was there today) and holds all my most cherished memories, it is no longer that same small community.
Hubby and I moved on from there years ago, drifting further down the coast until we moved a skip hop and jump inland to our new home……………and what did we find here? Its the community we have been hoping for and its only been right under our noses the whole time! Since being here we have been touched by the generosity of this community. People are constantly swapping and giving away household items, advice and produce. Looking out for one anothers children and the local ammenities and supporting local business, and its all being done through social media and our local community facebook page! We have been given so many incredible things – things we could NEVER have afforded ourselves or given our girls, a cubby house that we are the third local family to own, a swing set , clothes dryer, art supplies, furniture…….the list goes on.
Not to mention the smaller community of people who use the large property we live on, who have fast become our friends and neighbours. The fabricator who has his workshed next door and brings in my washing when it rains, or the old sailor working on his boat who always reminds me to get a hat for me and the kids. The girls down at the stables who coo over Tiny and Mini and offer them rides on the horses and the property “Boss” whose relaxed attitudes towards rent have saved us more than once.
We feel pretty lucky every day to be living in a town like this, tucked away in the hills, pretending to be rural. Where horses have as much right on the roads as cars, the local library still has shelves of VHS tapes and people offer help without being asked. Local businesses thrive thanks to local custom, kids selling cupcakes and lemonade sell out by midday, strangers smile and say hello on the street and the coffee shop knows our order before we’ve even walked in the door (whats more its bloody good coffee too!)