Walking Dartmoor on World Mental Health Day

As writers as diverse as Simon Armitage, Samuel Coleridge, Charles Dickens, J K Rowling, Rebecca Solnit, Edward Thomas, Virginia Woolf and William Wordsworth attest, walking is vital to the creative process. I too have found this to be the case.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. It was gloriously sunny here in the West Country, so I packed up some victuals, my map and the dog, and drove down to Buckfast Abbey on the south-eastern edge of Dartmoor. From there I walked up through Hembury Woods to the iron-age hillfort on the balding crown of the hill, before descending to the River Dart, winding my way back to edge of the woods and retracing my steps through the lanes to the Abbey.

IMG_2819(3)

In the poem Wintering, Sylvia Plath describes the jars of honey from her hives as ‘six cat’s eyes in the wine cellar/wintering in a dark without window/at the heart of the house’. I carry these words in my head at this time of year, as I try to build up a stock of remembered sunlight to get me through the too short, too dark days of winter.

Published by

deboraheharvey

Deborah Harvey’s poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and broadcast on Radio 4’s Poetry Please. She has three poetry collections, Communion (2011), Map Reading for Beginners (2014), and Breadcrumbs (2016), all published by Indigo Dreams, while her historical novel, Dart, appeared under their Tamar Books imprint in 2013. Her fourth collection, The Shadow Factory, will be published in 2019. Deborah is co-director of The Leaping Word poetry consultancy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s