Realms of Gold

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 fun!

Trendle Ellwood

Imaginary Lands

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.

Secret Doorways to Secret Worlds