In a big city it is a little more difficult to find worlds that don’t connect to your own, because we generally socialize within a set group, work with a set group, and because of time constraints, very little changes. Other worlds may be glimpsed occasionally, but are much harder to access.
However, in a small town these other worlds are closer, and easier to see. Last week a potter off to the local farmers’ market saw me not only buy my fresh fruit and veg, large double yolk eggs and beautiful meat, it also saw me run into another world.
The local poultry exhibition was on, and as I wandered into pavilion, enticed by an elderly man selling raffle tickets, I found a world of beauty, competition and for some, passion.
All different breeds of poultry were crowing, cackling, honking and calling. Clean, shiny feathers were on display; bright red combs on the roosters; elegant, coffee-coloured, fluffy Silky chickens shyly hid their heads.
The judge, dressed in his official white duster coat, carefully examined each bird, and his comments were scribed just as carefully by his off-sider. Anxious owners waited outside, and a few visitors strolled around looking at the birds, and occasionally exclaiming at a particularly cute one, or one with a loud and aggressive crow. The winners from here may be shown at the next biggest exhibition, and so on until one special bird will be crowned Champion of the state.
The care these birds had been given was obvious, and spoke clearly of the fascination this particular world had for a whole group of fanciers.
And the joy for me was that it was so easy to access. I could chat with waiting owners, buy a raffle ticket and see what was happening without having to make an effort. It was there, right beside where I had wanted to be, and close to home. No planning necessary, no specific journey required.
This is the joy of a small town.