living local: embracing whoever happens to be here
I wandered up to the end of the street on Saturday afternoon to watch the BH cricket team in their first outing for the season. The sun was out and the grass cut. I don't know any of the blokes, but I know them inside out. They are a wonderful mob, made up of talented youngsters keeping wickets and bowling leggies, enthusiastic twenty somethings yelling encouragement before and after every ball from half way to the third man boundary, the undoubedly swashbuckling middle order batsman casting twice the shadow at short cover than he would have done twenty years ago, and the 'not bad in my day' players who's love of the old game has them coming back summer after summer.
And then this morning over scones across the road, we talk about all the different stuff going on in the community; groups of people doing things they love together. For a small town there are so many ways to belong and contribute. And I thought about the cricket team again. Of course they want to do well, but you get the impression that it's more important to play the game with the people you live with, than it is to play to win.
I think this is what I'm liking about living locally. What matters more than progression or excellence is be-ing. And be-ing with whoever happens to be here. One of the highlights of the month is reading the local magazine / newspaper, full of BH stories, interest group reports, upcoming events, news and local business ads. The prose is not polished but the pieces read as text to supplement what the writer assumes you will have already heard in the local cafe or the post office, or sitting on your board out the back. I love that. It's not news, it's the meeting post.