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Group hugs

We live 45kms from the nearest town and although we relish the isolation, peace and quiet, sometimes contact is needed.

As we get to end of a third year of drought and stress and worry, I feel a need to reflect on some of the groups I belong to.

My yoga group is at the top spot; I have been driving over 100kms a week to a yoga class in Murrurundi, with an array of different yoga teachers, for nearly 20 years. At the core of the class are the women (and a few men) who have been there year after year. We have shared laughter and sorrow, rainfall figures and pictures of grandchildren. They are the centre of my whirling world and they share in the peace and stillness that yoga brings.

Then there is my writing group Warrah Writers. We have been meeting in the old Warrah Hall since 2001, sharing stories and laughter, poems and tall tales. There are usually 13 of us, men and women from all walks of life…ex nurses, teachers, farmers, artists and horse lovers. As I drive over the Ranges, I see the land up close, see the crops and the cattle walking the road, and I see the changing seasons. It offers endless inspiration and joy in sharing the company of others who are like minded and creative.

As another form of inspiration, I turn to my Book group Scrolls. It has been going for over 50 years, based around the Liverpool Plains of NSW, and I have belonged for quite a few years. A different member chooses the books each year and these are reviewed and then discussed with great vibrancy and energy.We travel to each other’s house once a month, often spending 2 or more hours on long country roads but it is always a delight to be welcomed to someone’s country home and garden and meet up with familiar faces.

To segue with my yoga moves, I also have joined a Fit Class at the local gym in town, with about 8 women of various ages and background. We stretch, do squats, hold planks and carry weights as we all attempt to stave off the years and keep moving. We meet afterwards for a coffee and a chat about gardens, grandchildren again and building projects.

These groups have kept me sane as we have endured yet another year of the driest on record.

I look forward to the day when the creek comes down and I can’t get to town at all…to yoga, or Fit class, Writers or Scrolls.