It was Pauline’s birthday last week. Some of us from the Friday writers’ group planned to meet together, under the rule of six, to celebrate. We booked tickets to visit RHS Harlow Carr Garden. The sun shone down on us, blessing the day, lighting Pauline’s bright red hair to perfection.
This group has supported one another through the toughest of years. A year of change and isolation that none of us had anticipated. A year of plans ditched, dreams shattered, a year of bereavement.
It’s been a year of opportunity too. In the internet age we came together via Zoom and WhatsApp. Friendships deepened, new friends arrived. Some arrived in the flesh, in 3D for the first time for the birthday celebration.
We gather together, online for now, each Friday, dare to call ourselves writers, give each other the courage to do it. We have written poems, memoirs, stories, even a radio play. We laugh and cry together.
We’d gone to the gardens to read the poetry tweets scattered around like seeds. They went largely unnoticed in the chatter and celebration of being together. Until that is, Pauline announced: ‘I am 70. I am going to sit down for a while.’ She sat, just by a poem that we had previously debated over WhatsApp.
We had already agreed that this piece was not our favourite. But we also agreed that we will be adventurers in our writings.