On Saturday I pushed my baby’s pram, power-walking as I urged my 5 year-old to keep up. He hopped along beside me, rugged up in two jumpers and a beanie. My husband had rushed back to the car to get a forgotten glow-in-the-dark sword for my 5 year-old.
My breath puffed clouds of frozen air into the winter solstice night. Would we make it in time?
A crowd became visible in the darkness ahead. As we merged in it became warmer. I found our friends by the drumming circle.
Would you like to know what happened next?
Well, here is a poem!
The Lantern Parade
The moon is rising,
pulling in a tide of people
to the Northern Rivers.
A bubbling brook
that slowly grows
into a flood of dreadlocks, berets, beanies and beards.
They converge into a stream down Keen Street,
teeming with excitement
for the moment yet to come.
Market stalls infuse the breeze
with wafts of chai,
of fried pad Thai,
and sweet, buttery popcorn.
The rumbling thunder of drumming
luminous lanterns appear.
Sparkling along the swell,
bobbing, bouncing, brilliantly,
they burst forth
into magical forms.
A giant Viking ship soars by,
oars stroke the gushing streams,
flanked by rainbow fish.
Stars light the way for an owl,
who flies on the breath of the crowd.
A smiling goddess with seaweed hair
drifts gracefully onwards,
while belly dancers shimmer to the rhythm
that I feel pounding in my chest.