I don’t seem to have spent much time sitting on Benches and Yaaning over the last few months. I did get a small chance today to sit on a hay bale and Yaan for a bit with Pearl. Pearl put together the RIVER STORIES for today’s festival and the hay bale was in a huge khaki tent right beside the chai stall.

And I sat a while on a bench built for children under the age of 5. That was in the DAWNSONG tent. Dawnsong is a Steiner pre school in North Bellingen.

Now that its night time and I am home and sitting in my very own club chair thinking back over the day, I am smiling my own hidden smile for my own Community. There are other festivals here. Some are OK and some are jaded and highly priced and exclusive of the Town. Today – well today was as good as the old AZALEA Festival.

Give me a moment to consider what happened for me today.

I have been watching this young team of TRANSITION BELLINGEN put this together for months. Pearl has been down and talked with me about my memories of the River , bringing with her a home baked cake. The BELLINGEN RIVER FESTIVAL Facebook Page has stayed active and keen.  I have watched them put the Music together, including young local bands like FIVE DOLLAR BILLIE and thought to myself – “ they just might achieve something special here “ and they have.

We made lanterns and painted pictures. The Gumbaynggirr People were teaching the rest of us things that we don’t know. We had novelty races and the inflatable giraffe collapsed on all the kids who screamed a lot. We ate ice cream and swam in the River which was clean cold and fresh. Two Grandmothers stripped to their underwear and jumped in to the Water to make sure their grandchildren didn’t drown.  There were canoe races and eel fishing competitions.

I might not be sitting on a bench Yaaning right now – but there are many fine little tales I could tell you about this day in a small town.  This week’s Photo Challenge is “HIDDEN”. There is an awful lot hidden in the community of a small town and an awful lot of it is very good indeed.