I felt relieved I was no longer
On the freeway. Happy, too, that I’d left
Traffic lights behind.
In two hours I’d gone from a gold coast
To adventure. The sunshine was my GPS –
I’d peeled away life’s rind.
‘We love our kids, we love our town, please slow down’
Read the sign. And why not? Why would one
Speed or race?
“Merry Christmas,” June said to Diane, walking by –
No ‘happy holidays’ in this small but vibrant town.
“To you and yours,” Diane replied, her smile growing
With good cheer.
“See you at the Markets,” as she shared
Her happy face.
The children played in the park – their parents
Watching on. Oh, the joy that supervision gave
When not designed for safety’s sake alone.
As children slipped down the slope, swung on the swing
And enjoyed the honest fun of everything,
Not one could be seen texting, talking,
On the phone.
And as the clock hit ten am, the doors of the local
Were heard to be unlocked, and patrons wished the best of times
To those they’d come to know so well –
For whom they’re better half had given
Christmas prawns without the shell
And for whom they’d shout across the bar;
“Hey, Paul, can you shout out a cheer
For a thirsty traveller off the road
Who needs a full-strength beer.”
The sky cried everywhere but here –
The sun rose and shone and rose again
A smile returned by those who knew tomorrow’s sky was blue.
A home away from home – I did much more than travel through.