Imagine yourself here, wandering along this old track above the creek. The breeze is chill, but the sun is warm. Under your feet, old, dry leaves and twigs crackle and crunch with every step, birds are flittering around you, swooping and diving to catch the insects your movement disturbs, and you can hear the gentle babble of the creek as it wends its way down the the gully. It is your time, just you on this quiet track through the bush, with no need to rush or be anywhere.
How do you feel?
There is nothing I like more than to have a bit of time to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love being with my family and friends, I even enjoy my job as a teacher, but I need that quiet time to recharge my energy, sort out my thoughts, and just breathe.
I could be reading a book, surfing the net, writing a story, working in the garden (or just sitting there), or going for a walk...
...long ago, our bush block used to be a sheep farm. It is a hilly, craggy property on a north-west facing hill above the beautiful farming valley below. There are lots of old, broken fence lines and winding tracks to follow, leading to quiet spaces amongst the trees where you can sit on a fallen log or an outcrop of rock and just enjoy the peace and quiet while you get your breath back.
Sometimes all you can hear is the breeze through the trees and bird calls echoing through the bush. After rain, there might be the rush of water down one of the creeks. Occasionally, the crowing of a distant cockeral or the lowing of cattle might carry up from the valley if the wind is in the right direction. A scurry of movement might alert you to the passing of a swamp wallaby or one of the eastern greys that share our home.
I particularly enjoy walking in the rain, with the soft feel of a light drizzle brushing against my face and settling in my hair, the sound of rain pattering gently on the forest floor, the damp earth smell, the stillness all around me... the haunting cries of the choughs as they track my passage up the hill.
Now I can think. Story lines unravel. Dialogues unfold. Characters talk to me about who they are and what they want from the story. Bit by bit, my steps take me to another place, so that instead of the crunch of leaves and bark under my feet, i might find myself in my character's shoes, seeing what she sees, feeling what she feels, hearing her world.
Stories start to tell themselves in my head. Some of them are just for me, others i might write down later... some so compelling that i have to stop and whisper a note into my phone, or even hurry home to sit at my keyboard and try to make the magic happen.
I love to follow the paths my thoughts take me down as my feet carry me along these old farm tracks.
Where might this track take you?