There is a little house that sits on a spit of land between a marsh and a sea, a place with jackdaws in the chimney, where lizards hide in the grass with the tiny shrews, where swans glide overhead and murmurations of starlings loop through curlew cries, and at dusk the bats swoop in their beautiful dance as herons skim the tops of the reeds against the sunset. There are countless birds that throng the marsh here, among them terns and mistle thrush and finches, lapwings, even occasional owls, and in the evening pheasant wander in the garden, and sometimes, somewhere beyond the reeds, a peacock calls, his cry across the marsh sending a tingle down your spine.
I have written so many times about the weather here and how it changes the shape of this place, about the seasons and how each one blooms and swells, brings dustly moths on the walls, spiders along the windows, stormy seas, sea mists, dancing sunlit grasses, endless blue skies, and sunsets that take your breath away.
I did mention big changes around here, didn't I? Big changes that we have been studiously ignoring the possibility of for rather a long time, now.
You see, our golden age is over.
For the sixteen years we have been living here, I have been in a little bubble with my babies, cocooned in this most magical of places, like some little creatures from the Wind in the Willows, the seasons rolling around us as we burrowed in, and we grew into this land, the green and the salt seeping into our blood and bones, from the very formation of my babies. Our Eldest was barely four months old when we moved in, and the following three were born right here in the living room with windows to the sea, and windows to the green and the mountains, pulling all combinations of seasons and weather and time of day into their beginnings, all manner of the elements that make this place so miraculously special, into the weave that is our little family.
As the years have passed, they have grown, we too, myself and Jay, have grown, this place like a paintbrush against our skin, each night touching up where it did not find us in our day, a tender reassuring like a fine mist that layers, and over the years has become our skin, as though we are this place and this place is us. But now it is at an end. When the year turns, together we will pack the little pieces of us, the myriad of little things that have been put together to form our home, the collections of Us, and we will move. And though nowhere will ever match this place, with all our hearts we know it will be somewhere beautiful. I do need green outside my window.
We are on a rollercoaster of emotions about it all. Some are excited, some wholeheartedly against it, but it is out of our hands, regardless, and because of that I have decided to embrace this change, the timing of which I can't complain about. I no longer spend my days embraced in this magical cocoon with my babies and toddlers, now that our Smallest is in school, instead I am out in the world more, looking at what I want to do with this next phase of my life, and this makes it easier to accept.
So, this summer will be about making the most of this remarkable place, a summer of gatherings of friends and loved ones, of Celebrating, and later in the week I will share with you, one such gathering that we had this weekend.
|Photo by Líosa.|
And who knows what wonderfulness is just around the corner, for I know there is a place for us.