The night before visiting Trill for a seasonal walk in preparation for this piece, I read two versions of an Inuit story about the powerful goddess of the Arctic seas, Sedna, and then fall asleep and dream. 

I dream I’m having my hair cut, washed clean with a waterfall of hands and flowing taps, but I’m irritated. After some time the hairdresser admires my long sleek hair and carries a mirror to show me the view from the back where I can’t see, lifts my hair and screams - huge ugly knots remain beneath the surface that need cutting out in chunks. I feel much lighter once they are gone.

And I remember the times that knots of chaos and anger in burning clouds of ice have surrounded my head, blocked the way forwards creatively and emotionally. Tangles that needed combing out with magic and love, ritual and intention, and with time outdoors in nature. The pen is a very good tool to dive deep under sea with.

I sit up at the Trill Farm Campsite the next day in a bright moment of February sunshine, rain clouds gathering in the blue distance of the Blackdown Hills. I think about knots and how hard they are to loosen if you don’t know how they were tied, and I think about the healing power of relationship to the land, re-connection. I think about the writing retreats that I am running here. The first is in just a few weeks. 

I sit and listen to the Spring song of birds and watch the shimmering wet grass, I’m surrounded by all manner of beings sharing this moment and space, this breath. I feel smooth, unruffled, and utterly alive. Excited and ready to teach, ready to unfold my own story here, combing the way as I come with song and story and the stillness of beholding.

Trill is a very special landscape. Ancient rural land with traces of the industrial age (a once railway line, now permissive byway), wild woods, working farm, kitchen gardens, lakes and reed labyrinth in more cultivated grounds near the house. It is wide and vast enough to find space for both head and imagination to immerse and explore sensory ‘other’ perspectives of field, sky and woodland-being, yet close enough to walk home for a cup of tea, and a desk to write.

The upcoming creative writing retreats will be fun, playful, creative and stimulating. The guesthouse has a warm farmhouse feel to it, one of community and nourishment; this is our hall, our comfort and our indoor classroom. There is a large lounge and wood burner. We’ve also planned study areas in the Craft Room and cosy reading spaces. After intense mornings in workshops, you can daydream, wander and muse your way through afternoons exploring nature’s portal of wonders, and the page. Or rest, restore, and nourish yourself however suits you. The retreat is a chance to get away from daily distractions and focus in a dynamic creative environment, fuelled by fresh and delicious meals from Trill’s chefs, and with tea and cake always at the ready.

The retreats are aimed to spark and fan the flames of imagination at all levels and abilities, whether you are in the middle of a writing project or need a boost to get started again. With prompts, discussion, community and the land, you’ll organically absorb fresh seasonal energy, find confidence in your authentic voice, and create new work. All you need to bring is a pen and paper, your curiosity, an open mind and heart….and wellies!

Written by Sarah Acton, Jurassic Coast Poet in Residence.

Discover more about our Creative Writing Retreats & Walks led by Sarah.