Spring day in­spires the in­ner poet

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JOHN SARGEANT


De­spite the wet weather, it’s dif­fi­cult not to be im­pressed by spring with the ‘metal­lic’ tui in the golden kowhai and run­ner beans, let­tuce, basil and ‘tom­mies’ pop­ping up in the gar­den.

We are still in a great place, Taranaki that is, so ear­lier this week I agreed to write a con­fer­ence pa­per. The idea is to en­cour­age peo­ple to stay on for a few days af­ter the con­fer­ence fin­ishes. Easy, eh, so I went on a walk to town for fresh air and in­spi­ra­tion.

I took a dif­fer­ent route just to see what would hap­pen wan­der­ing not ‘lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills’ although I did my fair share of hills. I man­aged to get my words worth in a small but in­ter­est­ing walk­way on the Car­ring­ton/Vivien St car park.

It tum­bles down the hill­side pok­ing a ubiq­ui­tous fin­ger into Vic­tor Davies Park, a mute tes­ta­ment to the man who shaped a thou­sand gar­dens. Here the mag­no­lias seem to cling on to the Hu­a­toki Stream with all their might be­fore that too dis­ap­pears un­der the hus­tle and bus­tle of the glassed city be­fore of­fer­ing a home to the tuna in its es­tu­ar­ine waters be­fore join­ing the Tas­man.

I found some park benches on my new­found walk­way but best of all, a stone wall un­der a co­pi­ously leafy tree. One of the large stones has a sort of a shal­low dent in the top, which fits per­fectly the hu­man pos­te­rior. Serendip­ity I sus­pect but nev­er­the­less, very comfy.

I took out my ‘in­dus­trial strength’ cheese and onion sand­wiches (I have no shame) made with Eltham’s finest stinky blue vein, and my flask of cof­fee. Then I ’peo­ple watched’ be­cause I could see a flow of hu­man­ity pass­ing by and they couldn’t see me so I could ob­serve their naked thoughts.

In such a place it’s easy to sit in si­lence and let your mind wan­der. I con­sid­ered how lucky we are. New Zealand is the best of all the other parts of the world squashed into one amaz­ing coun­try. What’s even bet­ter is that Taranaki is all the best of New Zealand squashed into one prov­ince; The moun­tain and the sea, the city and the towns, the coast and the cul­ture.

We all know it, but it doesn’t do any harm to sit down and count your bless­ing now and again does it?

Con­fer­ence pa­per sorted.


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Sir Vic­tor Davies Park pro­vides a lovely place to sit and muse.

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