Tranquil #WritePhoto

Lily sat down on the grass next to the river bank and began mediating. She was new to  to the activity but had so far found it useful for calming down everything. Normally, Lily would sit on her bedroom floor in the morning and the evening, shut her eyes and try not to think about anything other then her breathing in and out.

Today though, with the weather being so nice and herself feeling restless and depressed, Lily had decided to walk around her local park just for something to do and to get away from the house.

With no real direction, Lily had let herself drift, avoiding the busy playground areas, football field and popular dog exercise spots. That’s how she had ended up in this quiet, hidden area close to the river. It seemed like a good place to take a break.

Lily breathed, trying not to think of anything. All around, nature was singing her song this afternoon for anybody who cared to listen. Lily want with it, letting the sound of the river and birds carry her away.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/03/07/thursday-photo-prompt-tranquil-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

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Hidden #WritePhoto

It seemed too peaceful in the woods for anything dreadful to lay underneath but that  was what my instincts kept warning me of. For nights, I had been dreaming about this little girl in a pink ballerina dress dancing through these trees and calling my name. I had tried to ask her who she was and why she was here but she didn’t answer me.

I followed the river downwards, watching the chopping water tumbling over large rocks and small waterfalls. The sound of the water smoothing the edge off my worries. Birds were twittering away in trees which had almost lost all of their colourful autumn leaves. The chill of winter was settling in between the slate grey sky and muddy ground. My breath was misting in the late morning.

Huddling in my red Parker coat, I tried to recall the place the little girl seemed to be leading me too. I had never walked in these woods before and it was only because of her I was here. In my dreams, she had made letters of out sticks. I had looked it up on the internet and been directed to here. It had taken an hour and half driving, I had set my Saturday aside for this but even if nothing came of it, I had explored a new place and enjoyed a pleasant walk.

The river bent away and the path I was on spilt in two; carry on or go further up into the woods. Digging my hands into my pockets, I shut my eyes and finally opened spirit sense. I let the natural sounds move away and listened underneath them at anything that could be supernatural. It was always harder to do this outside as there was so much going on but the little girl was strong and she came to me in my mind.

She was dancing in her pink dress with frilly underskirt, ballet slippers ribboned up her legs, her dark hair up in a tight bun and her skin was milk white. A giggle and twirls along the second path and into the trees she vanished.

Opening my eyes, that’s the way I headed. The path wove around the trees, going up at a gentle pace for some time. The sounds of the river faded, more paths joint my one leading to other unknowns but I stuck with the one before me which soon became less trod on as it ran further and further above the woods.

‘Is this right?’ I whispered, pausing at a fallen oak tree covered in moss.

The feeling I was getting somewhere grew and I sent my sense out. The little girl appeared, not dancing now just pointing me on. I followed her fading form around a corner and came to bridge crossing a small stream. Leaves and twigs had blocked the flow of water but there was something else too….A flash of pink.

The breathe caught in my throat and I crept over. I didn’t look fully, didn’t need to, I knew she was there.

‘It’s okay, Sweetheart, you’ve been found now,’ I spoke.

I took my phone from my pocket and dialled the police.

The little girl smiled at me then faded into a mist which the winter wind carried through the trees.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/11/22/thursday-photo-prompt-hidden-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

Let It Flow #FridayFictioneers

Stepping down into the river bank, I found a large rock and began taking off my boats and socks. Late November wind made my skin tingle with cold. Abandoning things, I placed my feet into rushing water.

I gulped down cries that rose in my throat and shut my eyes. Underneath, I could feel smooth stones and ice cube like water sliding up my ankles. I thought about all the ‘bad’ currently in my life, pushed it down into my feet, wiggled toes and let the river carry it all away from me.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/11/21/23-november-2018/ with thanks).

Calm #WritePhoto

The trees had lost all of their leaves and winter was growing in the air. I walked beside the bending river, listening to the water moving and the hidden birds singing. It was too cold to stop today as I would normally have done, to admire the landscape and the sounds of nature. My heart badly wanted to though.

At a rough wooden bench, huddling in my long coat, I sit down. It was mid-afternoon, too late for lunchtime dog walkers and schools would be out soon, so there wasn’t anyone walking this corner of the countryside. That’s the way I like it, nobody asking if I’m okay, saying it would pass and get better. It was just me and the river with it’s calming flow.

It felt like I could fall asleep and dream safely here. The insomnia and the nightmares couldn’t get me, I could be at peace. I sighed and looked up at the sky. The clouds were drifting lazy, I wish I was up there with them, no worries.

It was getting too cold, I had to go. I got up and walked slowly, trying to delay my return home. Back there all the anxiety and depression was waiting for me. Out here though, I was free.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/11/08/thursday-photo-prompt-calm-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing #WritePhoto

Something from my childhood came back into my mind as I walked across the stone foot bridge; ‘don’t trip or the witch will get you!’ I paused, hearing a memory of girls laughing. What was that about?

I shook it off and looked over the side of the bridge. A low, slow river was running under the three stone archways, making nice tinkling and bubbling music. The water was clear, thanks to the bright day and I could see a few weeds and plants caught in the current. There was no rubbish which strangely reminded me I was so far from London.

I breathed in the fragrant countryside air and tried hard to recall that memory. Something about going to school and me hating having my hair tied up in two pigtail plaits. Two girls in bright red dresses throwing stones into the water and shouting at the witch to appear.

It was all too faded to remember correctly. Resting against the cool stone, I let the flow of the water help me drift further into my memories. I had been seven when I had been evacuated from home. There was a war on and it was safe in the countryside then London because of the bombs. I didn’t really understand anything else at the time.

I was extremely lucky as my mother was heavily pregnant and also my brother was only one and half years old, so we got to stay together. The other children, I remember didn’t and they had to say goodbye to their mothers at the train station. Our other stroke of luck was that my father’s sister lived out here and she had agreed to take us in.

It was like going on holiday, mother had said and so it sort of was. Only, I had to go to a new school and make new friends which wasn’t that bad because I was so young. I missed my bedroom and our house though, sadly it got blown up in the Blitz but I didn’t know that until years later.

My cousin! That was the other girl in the red dress and she’d told me that about tripping on the bridge and a witch grabbing you.

I felt sadden I’d forgotten that but it had been so very long ago and Sarah had died a young teenager of scarlet fever. At the time, we had all ready been moved some years, to a large house on the edge of the village and daddy was back from the war and it was all over.

Hadn’t I cried for days when my parents had told me? I had gone to her funeral in red – her favorite color- instead of black like everyone else. I was thirteen or fourteen then. And just like when I was seven and I didn’t full understand the war or why we had to move away, I didn’t understand why Sarah was gone.

We moved back to London after that I think. Dad had secured a job there and we needed to be closer. Auntie came to live with us for awhile but I think the sadness of having no daughter and no husband – killed in France- got to her and she moved away.

Other thoughts tumbled into my mind, unlocked by all of this. It was strange to come back here and remember things I shouldn’t have forgotten. Maybe, it was best that they became forgotten once again though? I felt, that these memories had come back to me and I should do something with them.

‘Grandma!’ a voice called, breaking my thoughts.

I turned and saw my granddaughter, Hattie, running towards me. My daughter and husband following behind.

‘Don’t trip or the witch will get you!’ I said.

That made her stop and glance around, ‘witch? where?’ she questioned.

‘The one that lives under the bridge,’ I explained.

Hattie joined me and tried to look over the wall but she was too small.

‘She likes little girls the best,’ I carried on, not sure if I was making it up or if more was coming back to me, ‘she cooks them in her big pot and eats them with bread!’

Hattie pulled a face and shook her head, ‘I don’t believe you, grandma!’

I swooped down on her, making crackling witch like sounds. Hattie screamed then burst into laughter as I started tickling her and I remembered, a long, long time ago, two girls laughing and tickling each other on this bridge, joking about an old saying.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/07/05/thursday-photo-prompt-crossing-writephoto/ with thanks).

Xyst #atozchallenge

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Xyst; a garden walk planted with trees. 

Escaping from the tea party, I made my way to the tree walk away. It was a place right at the back of the gardens that had been left naturally wild, once my great-great grandfather had finished having the trees planted. His original plan had been to make a wooded area for hunting in but the horses had struggled with the undergrowth and trees.

There had been so many plans over the years to clear the area and make it something else; another ordered garden, a vegetable patch for the servants, a summer house. The tree walk though was too far out to be much use for any of that, plus there’d always been the matter of the cost of it. I, though was grateful that the tree walk had been left alone and was still wild.

Leaving the neatly racked path, I stepped onto a single dirt track and disappeared into the shadows of the trees. Breathing deeply, I left the constraints of the tea party behind me. I was never very good at remembering my manners, sipping my tea and only nibbling at a sliver of cake. It was especially bad today as we had male guests and I didn’t do well when there were handsome men around!

It was best to stay away and let my mother and sisters deal with such things. Mother was determined to marry us all off before the eldest- Elizabeth now twenty three- turned twenty five. At which point, mother believed the possibility of marriage was low. I did not share that view. Perhaps it was my romantic fifteen year old nature but I wanted to believe there was going to be more to my life then marriage and children.

I let my fingers brush against the rough tree trunks and over grown grass. There was no need to be lady-like in this garden. Overhead, the birds sing of spring in a deep blue sky and the warm breeze promised summer. The scent of flowers and earth hugged the air, making me happy. Following the path, I reached the little wooden bridge over the shallow river that created a boarder to our land.

I lent over, watching the water flowing below. I liked the gentle rushing and bubbling noises. Also, it reminded me that when we had been children, we would throw sticks off the bridge and see who’s came through the other side first. This had been our secret garden; six girls just being children and escaping the pressure of adulthood.

How I wanted things to go back to those days! Being carefree and happy with only the distance shadows of a future out of our control. I sighed and wondered how much longer I could stay away. I should have pretended to have a headache or feel faint but then I would have had to go indoors. I wish I could just hide in here for the rest of my life but one can not escape one’s destiny.

I gathered the pale blue skirts of my afternoon dress and checked them for mud. Mother would not be happy if I returned unclean. Thankfully, it had been dry for a good few days now. Brushing the soft fabric off, I walked back to whatever was awaiting me.

Willowwacks #atozchallenge

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Willowwack; a wooded, uninhabited area. 

The small river weaved it’s way around the banks and trees just as it always did. The soft, tinkling sounds the water made as it traveled over rocks and fallen branches was the constant background music to the woods.

The wind made itself know; shaking the newly flourishing branches, roughing up the young flowers and grass. The noises echoing, falling and raising again in an almost pattern like way. The wind blew across the surface of the river but it knew better then to mess with the water, for water is more powerful.

Shy animals scampered or fluttered about; birds in bushes, squirrels in trees, butterflies on flowers and rabbits nibbling grass outside their burrows. All could just be glimpsed if in the right place at the right time. They were heard far more then they were seen though.

I, the ancient but still mighty oak which all this around me, adding it to my fountain of knowledge. I towered over all the other trees; giving shelter to the saplings, home to many animals and a king to this patch of woodland. We were protected because man said I was over two hundred years old and must not be cut down.

With man doing their job, I was left alone to do mine.

Winter Escape #FridayFictioneers

It wasn’t what the holiday brochure advertised but I wasn’t one to be picky. Everything worked, it was clean, the view was nice and the hotel staff friendly. It didn’t seem a bad place for a single traveller to stay in during a sunny holiday. Though the building looked really ramshackled and about to fall down. It creaked something awful which the sounds of the river and boats couldn’t counter. The feelings of danger never left and I just couldn’t relax. Sad to say, but I went home early and back to my country gripped in the blast of winter.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/02/07/9-february-2018/ with thanks).

Flow #writephoto

Life is like the flow of a river, I realised looking up at the waterfall from the canvas I had been painting on. You start off like a spring then become a stream, turning this way and that as you take different paths. Then you join a river and carry on going through things; some good and some bad, changing and growing older. Finally, you join the sea ending your life.

I looked down at the canvas balanced on the small easel, the painting I had done was a likeness of the waterfall and mossy rocks below, but I didn’t like it. Some of the strokes looked childlike and I really hadn’t captured the true beautiful force of the waterfall. I signed and began to pack up. It was always the same when I paused and valuated my art; I couldn’t go on when I became negative about it.

When I was done, I stood and watched the river carrying on tumbling down. The sound was so calming and mixed in with the soft singing of the birds and the rustle of the trees this place was a peaceful spot. The river then bubbled past me and away into a cluster of trees towards the next waterfall. It began raining.

I looked up at the sky frowning then ducked into the cover of some trees. A thought popped into my head; this is the full circle of water. I watched the raindrops falling in the ground and realised that we too became a part of the earth, only we didn’t raise up again. It was a morbid thought but at the same time reassuring.

The river couldn’t stop it’s flow and nor could we stop the flow of life.

 

(Inspired by https://scvincent.com/2017/09/21/thursday-photo-prompt-flow-writephoto/ with thanks).

In The Woods

abandoned, adult, architecture

In the woods you can just be yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone. The trees and animals accept you for being you. Peace will come upon you in the woods as you shut your eyes and take deep breaths. The river plays a soft song for you, helping to relax your body. The breeze moves the trees carefully, carring the scent of flowers and grass to you on warm carcasses. The birds chime happily in the trees, even though they don’t play for you, they can’t resist an early evening at the height of summer. And you can let go of everything that has been holding you back. Release the stress and worries into nature. Now breath.