Today I am following the Thursday Writing Prompt from the Mindful Living Guide. In case you'd like to follow this series of writing prompts too, please visit the above link. Today's theme is 'a place I treasure'. By the way, the twitter hashtag for this series of prompts is #wpthu.
Written with a pen and paper (step away from the computer for these exercises), here's my resulting piece.
A Place I Treasure
I spent the first twenty odd years of my life in a semi detached dormer bungalow in a suburb of York. After that, things went a little crazy. Over the course of the next twenty years, I would move house sixteen times. The first time was an opportunity to gain independence from my parents in a house share with a friend. A new lover would bring about another move. The end of that relationship caused another. Family responsibilities and the desire to buy a house would create a major relocation. Meeting my husband and fitting in with his career set me (and our children) down another avenue of new homes and fresh places. I've lived in five counties, two countries, various cities and a handful of villages. Unlike my stoic friends who remained in my home town, I've had little chance to find places to treasure or ground for roots. My family has been my centre and my home.
The places I therefore treasure are found in my memories. They are timeless snapshots of my past - snatches of emotion captured in the eye of a camera frame. Some still exist in reality. Others have long since given up the battle to 'progress' in the form of new roads and housing developments.
Mucky Trotters is one such remembered treasure. Running along the back of the house I was brought up in, it was a cinder track which skirted the edges of fields. Its uneven, broken surface revealed the grey and orange bricks of the lane's original construct., leading from the beginning of our street to a seeming dead end in a field that was gradually being encroached upon by the growing road system.
Mucky Trotters was a literal 'breath of fresh air', leaving behind the surburban mundane to visit a pocket of nature. Very few of the fields there were ploughed. Most were given over to grazing for nosey, patchwork cows. One of the fields was used as a small holding with ponies, goats, chicken and guinea fowls. A local girl, several years old than me, kept a palomino pony in another field. Walking our dog, playing with my friends or simply spending some silent time there released me from the bricks and mortar of my life. I could think clearly, create worlds in my mind, even talk to myself or the fox I sometimes saw evading me on the other side of a field. Life can have a habit of forcing us to don masks but walking along Mucky Trotters, I could be myself.
I live a long way from that lane now and I doubt it's the same as I remember. Still, I have my photographs - on paper and in my mind - and that is enough to keep my treasure nearby.