Every summer I take off with my tent and drop off the radar for a while. That’s partly why I haven’t been blogging.
I almost always head to the far North, where you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and there’s no-one around and there’s nothing to do except walk. Usually, at some stage, it occurs to me to wonder if there might be something wrong with me that I choose these solitary times in solitary places.
But this year I had one of those moments when you know everything is just as it should be.
After 10 days in the Faroe Islands, which lie between Shetland and Iceland…
…and a week in the campsites of Ullapool….
…I stopped off at Lotte Glob’s sculpture croft on my way to Scrabster to pick up the boat to Orkney.
The sculpture garden is extensive, full of little trails with sudden nooks and vistas, where the visitor is constantly surprised by weird and lovely little treasures. It was raining hard but I wanted to see it all and not miss anything, so I just let myself get soaked.
I thought how wonderful it felt, this magical garden in the vast emptiness of the surrounding landscape, and it made me think of the part of the creative process where we leave the world behind and venture alone into the spaces of our mind, looking for unexpected treasures.
I love that time, just as I love my summer wildernesses. I need that feeling of independence and adventure you get when no one else is with you and you don’t know what you will find.
Now I’m easing myself back into the more sociable side of my writing life, reconnecting with my writing friends and networks, planning workshops, organising schedules for the books I’ve currently got in production and talking about ideas for new ones. I need that sociable time too.
That’s the dichotomy in the writing life; writers spend so much time all alone, but the drive is a deep desire for connection. After my wonderful travels in the North I’m always happy to be back here blogging in the House of Dreams.
Do you have a favourite kind of holiday? Do you think it reflects something of your nature too?