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Zen raking

Friday 12 April 2013

First thing in the morning. I’m on the verandah of the As­sis­tant Lightkeeper’s quarters. I can hear waves lapping the shore, sea birds calling, the wind in the palm fronds. At a distance, just audible, repeated strokes of a rake on sand.

image of raked sand

Jenni and Wayne, the caretakers, rake the sand paths at Low Island. They remove fallen leaves and twigs, and mark the damp sand with a hatching of rake marks. They call it zen raking, with a laugh at themselves, but I sense this meditative task sets them up for the day.

image of raked sand

The first visitors of the day arrive mid-morning. As they go from place to place their footprints make a dot-painting of their routes. By mid-afternoon they are back on the boat and away. The footprints stay overnight, blurred by wind and rain, for Wayne and Jenni to erase the next morning.

image of raked sand with footprints

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