It’s nearly Spring in Vancouver. The weather is warming, early flowers are creeping up out of the earth and yesterday I took a walk in the afternoon to enjoy the emerging season. I brought my ipod, sang along to a few of ABBA’s greatest hits, and thoroughly enjoyed the break from life.
While I walked I also enjoyed discovering several places that brought back good memories from my childhood. Stands of trees begging to be climbed, fields of grass wet and bowed, and a half dozen creeks running along and under the roadway. I loved creeks as a child (and still do today). I like to look at the colourful rocks just below the surface. I love how the flow of water changes the earth creating valleys, and how plants and trees arch over the water. As a child I would wade through creeks searching for places to be alone with my thoughts; places that felt private and special.
I know if I ever decide to build a retreat for writing it will be on a property that has at least one creek; a burbling, rolling waterway with special places and smooth stones that invite me to sit and write.
Where we grow up is special. The places and things in that environment are tied to memories and lessons. Take a moment to recall a special place from your childhood; a place that you built a relationship with. It could be a quite natural retreat, or maybe a local arcade or sports field. How did that place make you feel? Why was the place special? Were you alone there or amongst a group? Now tell the story of that place. Aim to write for thirty minutes.