Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.50 (winter)

Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads
Thursday, 5 July 2018

This was the fiftieth seasonal ginko of Cloudcatchers, and thus a celebration. We chose to meet at Torakina Park by the mouth of the Brunswick River where our first gathering had taken place on 5 December 2005 . Unfortunately some of our members were ill or had work commitments, and one was actually in Florence competing in Dragonboat Racing! However eight enthusiasts comprised a lively group around a large picnic table, and in spite of a bit of drizzle we managed to have a jolly and productive morning.

Our focus for the day was on ‘rhythm’, and members had been asked to bring examples which demonstrated how the use of this tool can influence the mood, or change of mood, within a haiku.

This winter ginko had a chill in the wind at times, but there was plenty of activity on the beach, and in the water, so families and their toddlers crept into some of the haiku, with little ones chasing seagulls as they have done at this site for thousands of years. Always the magnificent ‘big bad banksia men’ in the littoral forest, with a variety of birds airborne against grey cloud, or calling from the foliage. Brush turkeys with inquisitive ways and wind-blown feathers featured in a number of haiku, as did the rugged pandanus, rock fishermen on the point and the incoming tide crashing over the bar.

cloudcatchers cake

Lunchtime continued the camaraderie at the Hotel Brunswick, where a cake was cut to mark the occasion. It had been iced to feature Wollumbin, a volcanic mountain honoured by the Bunjalung people, which dominates the landscape of the Far North Coast of New South Wales, and is surrounded by its wide caldera in which we all live. Captain James Cook later renamed this landmark Mount Warning. From time to time a cloud will appear ‘caught’ on the highest peak, and as the translation of Wollumbin is ‘cloudcatcher’, this is the name our group adopted all those years ago.

The subsequent email Round Robin continued our workshopping, and our delight in the creativity we experienced together.

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Cutting the cake: Richard Roland, Nathalie Buckland, John Bird, Quendy Young, Norma Watts, Susan Scott
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Richard Roland, Nathalie Buckland, Norma Watts, Susan Scott, Pam Smith, Quendy Young, John Bird

Photos by Lydia Kovacs