Last week, I advised everyone to take a walk, take some pictures, and then eat cake. I think that’s about as sound as advice gets for cultivating inspiration and giving you a reason to write.
Well, I’m a firm believer in practicing what I teach, so this past Saturday, I went for a jaunt myself. And, to my intense delight, I stepped into exactly the fantastic world of imagination I had hoped to discover.
I am forever searching for Narnia (and dragons, of course, always dragons), and in my own way, I have found it in bits and pieces and teasing hints as I explore the landscape of Scotland. Lamp posts glow gloomily in the mist. Lions built into the architecture watch me as I pass by on the street. A castle ruin whispers of kings and queens of old…
I have a rule. If you see a locked door in an old garden wall, give it a quick push. It just might open for you. If the sun is setting and you are standing at a crossroads… wait a moment, hold your breath, hope…
You’d think I would be eternally disappointed since I have yet to wander into a wood and meet a faun (though I did meet James McAvoy the other day…no, I seriously did!). However, when I take a walk and bring my camera, I am transported to a fantasy realm (maybe Narnia, maybe somewhere else) and for those few hours, I am captivated. I think that’s part of why Anne of Green Gables is one of my heroes. She does it so very well!
Let me take you on my Saturday walk and show you what I mean.
It might seem a little silly to take these pictures and pretend to be somewhere magical, but if you think about that sense you get from a truly wonderful book – a book that takes you to a faraway place and you don’t come back until you reach the final page – that’s the feeling that I search for when I take a walk with my camera and let my imagination go a little crazy.
You might be thinking to yourself that I have it easy: I mean, there’s a castle next door and old, beautiful buildings all around me. I freely admit that this is an ideal place to get lost in Faerie, but I am quite sure that it’s possible anywhere. Isn’t that how Faerie works?
Don’t you have a crossroads in your town? Isn’t there a gate you haven’t bothered to try opening? Is there a spot of garden, some dark old trees, a house where no one seems to live? Don’t tell me there isn’t! Go find it.