Where do you get your inspiration?
When I was a little girl, we lived for one year in a big white house on an acre of land. Bordering the edge of our property was a grove of miniature pine trees. My imaginative, young mind was drawn to it like a magnet. It was the perfect place to hide out from pesky younger brothers, and the reality of my parents' dissolving marriage. The dense crop of trees were like friends to me. Just tall enough to shelter me from the outside world, and thick enough to make me feel secluded but never afraid of getting lost. Weaving my way through the labyrinth, they tickled me with their soft, prickly branches and tousled my curls. They welcomed me, spreading the floor with a blanket of needles so thick that not an ounce of moisture seeped in.
My favorite tree stood near the middle of the grove. Completely bare on one side, it's destiny was never to be a Christmas tree. But it proved the ideal place to rest my back, knees bent and notebook in lap, and spin my fanciful tales. I called this place my Enchanted Forest, for in it, I was transformed.
That summer was really the marking point for the beginning of my career as a writer. It was then that I fell in love with the written word, and began to venture out into the world of creativity. I filled many a spiral-bound notebook with my musings. I wonder what ever happened to them? The notebooks are long gone, but the stories (most of them, anyway) are still fresh in my mind.
My husband and I took a drive in the country last week and passed that old house. It was the first time I'd been back in all these years, and I was shocked to see those stately pines, tall and regal against the evening sky. Do they even remember me? I pressed my hand to the glass in silent greeting as we drove past. They made no acknowledgement, as far as I can tell.
I wonder, has the magic vanished? Or do they clutch it still, deep inside? I close my eyes and envision them as they were in their youth, when light filled their depths and they freely shared their secrets.
Ah, my Enchanted Forest, the birthplace of my imagination! I shall always hold you dear in my heart.