Thursday, 14 October 2010

Myth Country II

Illustration to Wordsworth's The Deserted Cottage by Birket Foster

Where the cliff ends, the land runs steeply to the sea. The sound of waves, the barking of seals who lie on the rocks, dive and reappear.

The land is wooded and the trees reach to the beaches. A path follows the sea and the edge of the woods, running in, bridging streams, coming out upon coves and folding back into the woods. There is always the scent of damp, and in spring Blackthorn and Hawthorn blossom above Wild Garlic.

From the woods the path climbs another cliff, through Thrift, Sea Cabbage and Bladder Campion; past the ruined chapel, the fallen cottages that are now just stones. Some are larger, more recently vacated. They bear traces of upper floors, the shells of fireplaces and bread ovens or they house rusted iron bedsteads or parts of ploughshares. Grass grows from the upper stones. Gulls nest in the frames of windows and brambles hide the doorsteps.

*** This is my (brief) response to Doris Lessing's claim that 'Every writer has a myth-country.' It follows Jenny's and Rebecca's pieces on the same theme, published here and on Rebecca's site, and is probably linked to a piece that I wrote some months ago on my day-dream island.


  1. So good to be able to read this beautiful piece of prose again, Sian. I can see your myth country perfectly clearly in my mind's eye, and it is a wonderful place to be.

  2. Thanks lovely. It's rather tumble-down and a wee bit lonely.

    S x