The Family Business

It is in those boring winter months when nothing really happens around that me and my mate Al fly up to far North Queensland for our traditional winter escape.

Just one week with no phone, no email, chilling with a few beers chatting about life, dreams, possibilities, past and future. Enjoying the present. Living the dream.

And what else than a big fat green joint to top up that paradise? After a lazy, palm-shaded we decided to head to the town’s pub that night where all the locals are and surely someone could have sorted us out.

Once at the pub, we sat in the smoking area and, drinking a beer, we started to chat and check out the place’s mood. We were the only strangers there.

Our man showed up after few beers, a funny, short, black fella named Wolla.

He spotted us and we spotted him.

“Ey, brother! What are u drinking? Join us if you please!” I told him.

He was very happy to do so.

We chatted for a while sharing stories and pieces of our lives.

He didn’t take long to ask us if we needed any weed.

“Sure bro!” we replied together.

He came back saying, “Let me finish this drink and I will bring you to my place.”

“No worries bro, take all the time that you need,” I reassured him.

We made the move a few minutes later while Al waited at the pub engaging with the locals.

We covered the few meters to his place rapidly. It was just around the corner, like everything in that beauty of a town.

Entering from the back of the house we walked through a big gazebo. All the family was wrapped up there, a few very small kids and a few a bit older, all supervised by the vigilant eyes of mum and grandma.

Wolla introduced me to the folks and made it clear what I was after, and the young mum stepped up. She was pregnant with a very big belly showing the happy event was pretty close. She told me to follow her into the kitchen. Wolla stayed outside with the grandma, entertaining the kids.

Inside, mum asked me how much I wanted. I asked what the price was and we agreed on 10 grams.

“No worries!” she said with a big, beaming smile. Then, she pulled out the scale from a pantry stocked with basic foods like packs of rice, bread and cans of tomatoes.

Next, she took out of the fridge a big bag of beautiful buds. They were even better when she opened the bag – the room was impregnated with the sweet aroma.

“WOW!” I exclaimed. “This is a good product! Please double the size, make it 20!”

She smiled and proudly explained to me that this was natural bush, grown locally.

She accurately weighed the weed in front of me, handling it gently with a soft smile on her face. Staring at her belly, I perceived the love she was putting in was part of her care for her new arrival – important to square the family budget.

I asked when the baby would have arrive and she confirmed it was very close – just few weeks away

She bagged it up and, in the same moment, her husband came through the door. He was just ending his working day, in his mid 20, dressed up in high visibility clothes and safety boots.

“Hey bro how are you?”

“All good bro,” I replied.

“Same here, sorry have to run for a shower”, and he disappeared at the end of the long aisle.

Mum and I walked out back to the gazebo, where we entertained a short conversation with Wolla and the rest of the family. The kids were curious and were shyly trying to approach me. I smiled, amused by their innocence.

After few minutes I said thanks, goodbye and left with Wolla. The kids were laughed and waved energetically.

“Welcome to my home bro,” Wolla he said.

“Thanks brother,” I replied and we indulged in a sincere hug. I left with him a generous cut as sign of gratitude, even though he did’t ask for that.

On the way back I couldn’t help but notice the smell of weed wafting so strongly out of my pocket. I stopped, closed my eyes, and breathed deeply, enjoying a warm breeze gently brushing my face.

I relived the love of that mum – it felt like being in a big warm hug. I was sincerely happy to be there as myself.

And, inebriated by that moment, I thought to myself that in a fair world the entire aboriginal community would be empowered with the legal right to grow and sell cannabis.

As I cut through the salty air on my way back to the bar, I considered the immense opportunity to enhance and support the community itself.

Maybe the right time has arrived to give the traditional custodians of this land something back.

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