Beach gales, their sharp teeth
sting my face; tearing sanchin.
Finding every crack.


This year, we had our customary family week at the wonderful Hamelin Bay. It poured rain and blew a gale all week!! One afternoon it was really blowing, so down to the beach I went to practise the basic (but far from easy) Sanchin kata. Curiously, I was annoyed that the wind, which I later learned was blowing 110km/per hour, kept knocking me off my stance. Curious that is because I was there for precisely that reason. It’s odd often we curse about getting exactly what we asked for. When I remembered the storm was the reason I was there, I just kept at it. I’m a slow learner, but I noticed I usually got pushed over in exactly the same place in the kata. The balance in my turn was poor. I didn’t need a book, or even an instructor to hover over me on this occasion. I needed a willingness to fail over and over, and an open mind. The storm won almost every time, but I was the real winner.  I was grateful for the lesson. A the end of the session, I sat with my eyes open and without moving them, tried to scan the horizon with only my attention moving from one side to the other as Miyagi Chojun Sensei used to. Much harder than it looks!


Summer’s northern breath.
Must you drink all the water?
Moss hides beneath leaves.


The summer where we live seems to suck the green out of everything. Hidden beneath brown, dead leaves, some green patches of moss persist in the most unlikely places, waiting for the winter again. There are people around me at the moment, precious and important to me, for whom the dry summer’s taxing winds seem to be relentless. Their exemplary discipline and humanity, cultivated over many years, seems to have preserved a little green, flourishing even in these times. It has been my privilege to witness this master class in humanity and courage, and makes me wonder what will be hidden beneath the leaves in my dry times? A little moss, I hope, to spread when life giving water returns.