There were ten of us visited Torakina Park, at the mouth of the Brunswick River, to participate in the Cloudcatcher’s fifty-sixth ginko. It was very warm, but the sea breeze contributed to our comfort.
The site had been chosen in the hope that our beloved founder and patron, John Bird, who lives in this area, might have recovered sufficiently from his heart surgery last June to be able to join us. And he did! It was the first time for eighteen months, and our delight at having him with us once more was immense. Yes, he does carry some physical evidence of his long illness, but maintains that lovely smile, that wondrous voice, and a hug for each one as warm as ever! He involved himself in the readings, and from his lips we received some guiding words and concepts once again.
A request had been made that participants bring up to five haiku written since our last meeting, on the themes of bushfires, heat and the festive season. These were read in turn around the table, and readers and listeners noted any that warranted workshopping after the readings.
Nathalie Buckland focused our thoughts before we set off on the half hour ‘silence’, with these words: “I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand today, and pay respect to all Elders past, present and emerging. This has always been a special place, where the river meets the sea. It is fitting that we gather here today, where our group had its first meeting. Also that the haiku we write are mainly focused on Nature. Walk with heightened awareness today.”
This was our fifteenth ginko at Torakina Park. However there were plenty of new images to be captured. School was back, and the antics of toddlers abounded. We had not previously seen a brush turkey climb a tree, or watched a turkey chick learning to roll in the sand, or spied a very large lady in a minuscule bikini or had a chorus of kookaburras singing so loudly that we had to stop talking as nobody could hear.
Poets had been asked to close their eyes at least once during the silence, and a number of worthy aural and olfactory images were recorded, with even a ‘tactile’ depiction of the sea on ageing legs.
We lunched together at the local hotel known as ‘The Bruns’, and are now conducting an email round-robin in which everyone is participating, even our newest (and very enthusiastic) writer, the seventy-ninth to experience the joy of a Cloudcatcher ginko.
Thursday 30 January 2020 report by Quendryth Young
Nathalie Buckland, John Bird, Quendryth Young.
Around the table from the left: John Bird, Quendryth Young, Vivien Royston, Gwyneth Trysant, Helen Davison, Heather Matthew, Norma Watts, Laurel Astle, Angela Smith, Nathalie Buckland.