When I first came to this area, it was a little country town. I was sick of the expense of renting in Sydney, and went for a drive. I found this magnificent town, and sat at a park, drinking coffee from my thermos. I decided then and there to pack up and move here. This was before I had my daughter. I didn’t know anybody in this town, and wondered on occasion what on earth I had done. It was lonely and disorientating at first. Slowly, I made friends, and my new doctor put me on a pain relief medication that revolutionised my life. I found I could travel longer distances, and thus, it freed up my world. I walked 7km along the river bank of a day, then dined at one of the local restaurants or pubs afterward. It was a simple and glorious life.
I started IVF, and fell pregnant. We had to move house, and local friends readily helped. When my daughter was born, there were flowers, meals and gifts streaming to my door. There was a real sense of connection. Friendships deepened, as did the love I felt for my town. Since I began home schooling at the beginning of last year, we have spent a large portion of the week in Sydney. A sense of disconnection from our community grew, and it saddened us. In school holidays, we try to catch up with as many familiar faces as we can, and walk that glorious river path.
The weekend past, the rain pelted down, and was merciless. Three of the bridges into town went under. Roads were blocked, and tragically, people were lost as their cars were swept away. Animals were stranded and our local caravan park was evacuated. As the news of the disaster unfolded, tears pricked my eyes. Vista’s which had been admired a week ago were no more. The town next to us had its main street flooded, and all the businesses destroyed.
It has been driven home that wherever you may roam, there is a place that you consider your sanctuary. This town is mine, and I adore it. There is a sense of helplessness with us all, as we wait for the waters to recede. This quirky little place has a sense of humour all its own, and that, along with the community spirit, shall see it through. What has been lost shall be rebuilt, of that I have no doubt. It is a place where people truly care. I mentioned in a post here, how ironing is painful with my spinal condition, and a local got in touch, offering to iron for me! I have been flawed by the kindnesses shown time and again. Whatever befalls, this is one town that remains strong. I love Sydney, but this town is my home. Please spare a thought for all who lost their businesses and homes, and the families of those lost in the floods.