Carmel is an Irish New Zealander who hopes, one day soon, to write a simple personal memoir for her daughters, to give them a deeper understanding of life in Ireland when she was growing up. In the meantime she is enjoying dipping her toes into the craft of writing with short excerpts such as the following piece.
Early morning, not long after dawn, Queensland 2013.
I’ve already been up to greet the dawn and join the murmuring, swaying Qi Gong group. Finishing our routine as the sun rises, I feel alert and calm. Next stop, yoga.
We walk in tacit silence through the lush grass, which is emerald after months of tropical rain. The air is a curious mix of fresh and damp. During my five days at this place I have become used to the sodden perma-damp feel of my clothes and surroundings. As we weave our way to the outdoor pavilion for our class, I play with words in my head and decide that I am ‘smulching,’ not walking.
We reach the wooden pavilion just in time. Within minutes the swollen clouds burst with a sudden, violent rapidity and the torrents fall once more.
At some point in the class, I find the meditation is working. My inner chatter has been silenced, my focus sharpened. I am now aware that the rain has taken a break. As I consciously look around and listen it seems as if the volume has suddenly been turned up. I become aware of a kookaburra chorus in the distance, the calls of other birds unknown to me, the rustling of the wind and the constant presence of the gently but authoritative voice of our instructor.
I feel strong in my body and in my mind. In my peripheral vision I see an arc of bodies in uniform pose. I am part of that arc. I enjoy the sense of rightness of being there, right now, of just ‘being’.
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Deborah thanks Rangimarie Kelly and Pikau Digtal for website design and artist Karen Jarvis for her image ‘Writers at the Devonport Library,’ (2023)