There is a little cabin down on Burr
Oak Lake that my husband and I like to go to. No more then 30
miles away it is nestled in the woods and you can hear the lake
lapping against the shore from the back deck. There are huge woodpeckers
who come to an old hollowed out tree and their exotic calls begin
the morning with the first hints of light. The cottage is cozy and
quaint with a round kitchen decorated in 50's style and a bathroom
with the prettiest green tile.
Sometimes when we get off by ourselves
away from the homestead we will just spend hours floating around
the cottage and the deck as a people in a sanctuary. All is quiet,
uninterrupted by a child's spilt milk. Not a dog is barking, nor
a postal truck hurrying to deliver. We will put the books we brought
upon the bare tables. I will pick a bouquet to put there too.
Then the next morning we will take a
walk down to the lake and we will select a canoe, then we cross
to another cove where we pull up to the Lodge. From windows overlooking
the Lake we have a light breakfast. Then on the way back to the
canoe, we see that the beach is lovely and visited only by a group
of swans on the east side, swimming with the mist still rising.
And as we swim all we hear is the lap of water and as we lay back
and float the sun shines upon our faces. It is so blissfully peaceful.
The next morning we take a picnic to
an old covered bridge and we wade in the rocks of blue shale beneath
it's arch. Moss and shale and sunshine on swirling water. Ah! I
am never ready to go home! Need just a couple more days?!
For a few days after we get back home
it stays with me though and as I stand in a swirl of laundry around
my feet my mind sees shale and moss and swirling blue with sun sparks
,instead. Yes such a quiet couple of days we take so then we come
back home and the children shake their heads at us when they ask
us what we did and we say, Oh we read our books and we listened
to the quiet, we had picnics. And we went swimming, canoeing and
visited covered bridges.
But between you and I, we know it was
Good writing, as many a literature professor
has observed, conveys a strong sense of place. While characters
and their actions may drive the plot, the action works better if
everything happens in a recognizable, or at least easily imaginable,
landscape. This landscape may be a real one, or the writer may just
make it up. An example of pure invention occurs in Daniel Defoe’s
1719 book Robinson Crusoe. Widely identified as the first modern
English novel, this book describes for much of its length the relationship
between a man and a place — an imaginary island.
1. Make yourself a passport and prepare
to go to an imaginary land, to journey into a realm of gold. If
you are needing any ideas of where to go, do visit Lemuria and stop
at a few stations that dot the road to Ithaka
2. Visit Mappa
Mundi and make a special map to mark your path and help you
find your way.
3. Find an old suitcase and pack the
essential things - things that you could not be without if you were
to find yourself on Robinson Crusoe's island or somehow ended up
in Middle Earth.