I was tired.
Not just from lack of sleep but from the learning overload and insightful knowledge that I had gained over the week. There was also a sadness tugging at the emotions and the tangible fear of returning to normality that greets the final days of any holiday. Mine ran deeper than that; the fear that when I close the door on this week would I ever be able to recreate the feeling of inclusion, of being one with the world, of belonging.
The final night brought the week to a close. A rousing and heartfelt round of Auld Lang Syne touched a nerve unlike any New Year’s Eve version had. These people, the same ones that only a week ago, I had once been so apprehensive about were now my friends. Should they be forgot, should they never be brought to mind; I think not. I suspect that these wonderful, welcoming, creative people will be on my mind and in my heart for a long time to come yet.
It was a very late night, I had stayed the course and now was not going to miss a moment of the final farewells. The early start next morning was habitual rather than with any of the previous week’s eagerness. I joined friends for breakfast before waving off the bus full of new acquaintances headed for the station and home to their various lives.
Slowly I returned to my room and packed. No longer a white badger, no matter how many times I return I will never be that scared, timid, terrified person arriving so nervously again. It had taken an age to unpack but a week ago, now everything was tossed carelessly, unloved into the case with little caution. I checked and rechecked every drawer to make sure nothing was left. I had yet another cup of instant hotel coffee using my last remaining miniscule pot of milk as I wandered backwards and forwards packing the car. Finally it was time and with cries of “see you next year”, “keep writing” wringing in my ears I turned the engine on.
Warm in the cocooned chrysalis of my car I slowed as I said good-bye to the Swanwick lake, gardens, dreams and drove up, up over the hill to Carsington lake and back to reality. The hill stretched up towards storm ridden skies of uncertainty until I reached the very precipice of the future. One lake fading behind me as one emerged open and inviting before me. Exorcising any lingering feelings of self-doubt, I drove over the abyss and back to my family, no longer a moth flittering towards the early morning light of the breaking dawn I emerged a beautiful multi-faceted ambitious writer.
Back in the hub-bub of normal life my thoughts often flit back to my week away. Was it all just a dream? Possibly, it all seems to have faded quickly like any holiday memory, but inside has changed. I am a writer maybe more so than before. Since my return I have written a lot, I have done a huge amount of editing of Memories already with lots more to go still, the new character is emerging very much in the background so the emphasis does not change. I have even sent some stuff to a magazine as a filler; although there is no reply as yet. I have a short story which needs a little more editing and another in mind to be sent off. I need to write the new blog for the magazine, not many words but time critical.
And, I have a dream; a personal, special achievable dream.
I will return to the wonderful Swanwick and see all my friends again. I will find some way of funding that from my writing. When I return, I want Memories to be finished and in the hands of someone else; agent, publisher, readers. My fading memory of the week I emerged as a writer will become an investment in my future not just another pie in the sky wish.
Have a look at what I am up to with my cooking blog at Tea Time Treats