I went for a long drive. I went to a hill of ghosts and a pale, silent river. In the night, I slept beside an open door, and the damp wind, the moonlight, the old wild wishes of trees, slipped through my dreams.
And the downs were covered in dust and silent. And the sky was unrepentant.
While I was far away I kept with me certain things close to my heart. A beloved old book. My camera. Twitter for the latest news. A story of haunted Russian forests that I have read a hundred times at least.
Coming home, I saw immediately that someone trimmed the wind tree. But it goes on standing for now, and so my sea-wracked suburban sky still breathes.
I was surprised the mountains I stopped to photograph, finally, after years of holding my camera out the window as we drove past, proved not as heart-stirring as the willows, the river, the gentle busy birdsong beneath them.
I was surprised that, on returning home, all I missed of the countryside were its jessamine hedges (and of course the people I went to visit).
And I was surprised by how my perspective on social media clarified when I was mostly disconnected from it. Facebook in particular feels soulless, pointless. Looking at the photographs I'd taken, the lovely or strange or sunlit moments they captured, I don't want to waste them on instagram. I want to tell their stories leisurely, and know my audience is drinking tea or having a little breather to read with their feet up - taking time, giving it. I'll still use social media, for links if nothing else. But several women are returning to old-school blogging, and I'm glad to be one of them. I shall be giving some thought to this template, and whether I want to enlarge it for the sake of my photographs, or keep it quiet and gentle. Your thoughts on the matter are welcome.
All in all, it's rather good to be home. I love the countryside, and wish it was my home, but until it is my home I stand knee-deep and intimately bound with the heart of my cluttered, faery-ridden, dreaming little suburban town.