thomas m wilson

South-east Queensland: Catch a Fire

April 30th, 2006


Here I stand, on the beach at Byron Bay, looking out to sea with a smile you can’t see. On Thursday I and my old university friend Reuben caught up in Brisbane where he’s living. Byron drew us on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning we wound up a rugged little road through the tropical plants and trees and greens, and found a beach where waves wrapped lazily around a sandy point. The waves broke for longer than I can remember seeing good surf break, and upon entry the water gave me the thermal shock you’d expect from the tropics – even if we were five hours drive south of the tropic of Capricorn. The Pandanus palms stood sentry back on the edge of the beach, and I had a mental recall to Reunion Island and that epoch of my life. There was no wind, the sun shone from the blue, the waves were superb, and if it hadn’t have been for the sixty or so people out in the line-up, I would have cried halleluya.

This is the view from on top of Cape Byron, looking south.

cape byron

Below is a fire seen through cuttings in a drum at Woodford, where we were on Saturday night for a small festival. Of course I’m including it here for the meaning of the word cut into the steel.


Saturday night I and my friend slept at his parents house near Maleny. In the morning I found myself wondering around their hill-top property, through their tropical orchard. They were just harvesting their eight avocado trees. Trees only twenty years old groaned with hundreds of avocados, and many other tropical fruits stood alongside for the picking.