It takes a moment to realize that Thompson is your life.
You could be anywhere in town and this could come to you. Thoughts, words that line themselves up into special sentences that reveal what you are, who you are. When these click together like life LEGO the SNAP! sound is sudden contentment. Sudden bliss in taking refuge in what has become your home, or has always been your home.
Thompson people are a certain sort of folk. We come from all walks of life here. Some were born here and always knew what this town was to them: a place to live, to work and to raise a family. You worked at the mine, day-in and day-out, trying to make a living to support your family. Early, dark mornings drinking coffee while your truck warmed up under a blanket of snow, trying to wake up for a dozen-hour workday that seemed insurmountable, a mountain of mining to be climbed every day.
You were, or are, saving up for a house here, saving up for a future. This is what you are and what you will always will be now. You spent weekends either trying to smile or smiling easily. You spent weekends drinking, Sunday afternoons in a backyard with a beer in your hand staring into space while kids laughed and screamed around you. Thinking about work, thinking about how your life was. It takes a moment to realize that Thompson has become your life.
Other people moved here from far away, nomads that were always on the search for something better or somewhere they could run to. Somewhere they could fit in. They moved from other small towns, from big cities, from distant lands overseas to some little city called The Hub of The North.
You were lead here like you followed the North Star, or by a job ad or by someone you had fell in love with and decided you wanted to be with them. A Manitoba makeover that would change you forever, like plastic surgery for the soul. You came with different accents and different ideas on what this town should be or could be and found that you didn't always agree with your Northern neighbors but found for the first time that was OK. Something about this town made you want to make it work. You grew affection for it that was sometimes masked with grumblings about how there was nothing to do or that this place was going to hell but if you listened closely, you could hear it.
Your heartbeat slowly but surely synching with the heart of this town, your town. They lined up and you would smile secretly at this because you liked it deep down. That you had somewhere to go, somewhere that wanted you. Somewhere you wanted to be. It takes a moment to realize that Thompson is your life.
Jeff Mcinnes is the founder and moderator of the local Thompson Talk group on Facebook. He can be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org