Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour wandering down the main street. Nothing has changed other than what is now in the shops. It looks the same, but feels different.
I then drove out to Nimmitabel to revisit places we lived when I was a child. I haven't been down these roads for many years, but memories of trips in the school bus & family car came rushing back. A house that my childhood friend lived in now lies empty and broken.
The landscape beautiful after much needed rain is beautiful. The gums that are burned into my memory are beautiful.
The rusted and neglected mailbox at the gate makes me smile and feel warm.
I then drive back into Nimmitabel - a broken town, almost a ghost town. The pub long closed, no general store or post office anymore. The bakery and a few other little shops are trying desperately to hang on. While the view remains relatively the same, there is no soul left here, a once vibrant village full of life and community is a memory. I feel sad to see this is what has happened to my "home" town.
I venture down to the Club, the only place left for locals to gather. I walk in cautiously, it had been a VERY long time, will there be anyone I know? The lady behind the bar instantly recognises me - I am home! I spend the next two hours chatting to the "old" locals, friends of my school friends, friends of my parents (who have sadly passed away many years ago).
On my drive back to Cooma I reflect on my afternoon. I feel heartened that even though things have changed dramatically for those living in Nimmitabel, there IS still spirit to be found.