It saddens me to hear about increasing levels of violence on the streets of Byron Bay.
I’d like to share a story about a quite different experience I had late one night in Byron Bay. It was more than ten years ago; I’d been out on the town with a couple of girlfriends and we decided to go to Cocomangas nightclub. The guys at the door let my two girlfriends in free but then stopped at me. I tried to convince them I was with the other two, but they weren’t having it. Insulted, I decided I wasn’t going to pay to go in.
I went up to Railway Park to mope for a bit. While I was sitting there, a group of young people walked past. One of them must have said something to me but I can’t remember what. Then another one said, ‘Look, she’s scared’.
They then proceeded to encircle me, arms linked, in a tight huddle of loving kindness. As I had been feeling a little low just a moment earlier (not scared really), this was quite a moving experience for me.
They invited me to join them – they were heading to a different nightclub – but I had decided to go home.
This group of complete strangers were truer friends to me that night than the two girlfriends I’d gone out with.
This is the kind of experience I would like visitors to Byron Bay to have. I’ll never forget it.