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REMEMBER THE SMALL TOWNS

CAROLINA CORDEIRO 
I am going to guess and say that you have at least a couple of books, in you house. Right? Even if it isn’t a classic title, I’m sure you must have one of those new love triangle kind of novel, soon to be a movie adaptation kind of book, right? Not judging. No matter what the type of book you have, I’ll also guess that somewhere along its plot, you are able to find a big city where all future dreams come true. And, on the other hand, you can find a small town where one would only wish to escape from. Am I right?
I’ve told you about my enchanted islands before and how they can make you feel like you are in a children’s story. You can come and visit us or you can just stay and live on the most beautiful unchanged natural beauties the world has to offer. They truly look as if they are from a fairy tale book. But now, I invite you to open yet another book: the little to none interest book, where things don’t change and where every single person knows every other thing about your life. Can you relate to that? Bet you can.
So, how do you feel about it? Be truthful to yourself, even though you may lie to me. Honestly, what do you feel about those somehow strange little towns that witnessed you growing up into being what you are today? It can be a bitter-sweet kind of feeling, I bet. Right? You know why I know you feel like so? I have felt it too. 
I’ve been around some major cities in the world. The buzz is incredible, the movement and the energy are just absolutely overwhelming. They put across a “wow” factor that you just cannot deny. It’s fantastic because you feel that you have your own world and that you can at a reach of a fingers’ touch, change all you want. And, sometimes you make it there and sometimes you don’t. As in any fictional story, something always come in the way, doesn’t it? I’m sorry if it did, but have you ever stopped and thought that it might have been the most amazing thing in the world, that tiny thorn in your side? That maybe it was what you needed to take a break, a breath in, and really think about what you really wanted. Do, please, stress on the “really”! 
What I wanted, for many and many years was to just leave my hometown. Travel, go abroad, experience all there was to be lived and never comeback because what can a little town like mine offer a modern twentieth century woman or man? Nosy neighbours? Your shortcomings known by all? So many other things that I could go on and on about, but the most important one would be that the small common, lost in time towns have to give you, like nothing else, is a sense of belonging. A safe place to fall. 
Remember that big city where no one knew you? The small city will not do that to you, specially not in the Azores. Trust me! I know, I live here. Here in S. Miguel, and much more in any of my other eight islands, you can be sure that you will always have a helping hand, a nice hot soup in a cold day or a freshened cup of spring water in the most unbearable hot day. We will help you to cross the street, we will give up our sit on a bus and we will give you a huge hug when you are most in need of one. There is no small city, all around these amazing nine islands, that will not receive you and treat you as their own. None! 
So, whenever you stop and look back on your life or read in your book about the small time town, don’t fast forward it. Instead, remember the feeling of being protected and remember the warmth of knowing that everything can happen, good or bad, and that you will always have a friend. Remember the small town and you will know that you are never alone. In the Azores you don’t have to remember nor imagine: you live it, every hour of your day and we like it!

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