For 10 days last month I retreated to the New Hampshire town of my youth. I had become increasingly frustrated with my inability to work effectively on my book in the middle of my hectic city life, and decided to just vacate. “To get away from it all”. (What a cliché from the 80s!) I didn’t understand the phrase then, and wondered now: “What do I want to get away from?”
Of course it wasn’t what I wanted to get away from, but rather what I was going to that made the retreat a great gift to myself.
The minute I walked into Dartmouth’s Baker Library I connected to a place of inspiration from my past: the scene where my writer self had lived for a while, blossomed briefly, then disappeared for decades.
The aura of respect for the written word still permeates the hallways. How I cherished that environment! I could see my Hanover High School classmates walking the halls – same bodies, different heads – relentlessly writing and re-writing term papers and stories, all the while pretending we were in college.
I’m happy to report that my writer self fully emerged in New Hampshire and made herself comfortable. She has continued to grow after returning to New York and I’m confident will continue to do so. The book is depending on her.
It may not be necessary to do so, but I’ve decided to visit Hanover again in the end of March. And another trip is on my calendar for the end of May when the State Flower of New Hampshire blooms.
Inspiration from our youth is such a treasure, irresistible to touch, and to re-capture again and again and again.