An entry from my diary:
Friday Day 1.
Sitting at the table in the 160 year old Cornwallian cottage, the black metal on wood half barn door is ajar letting streams of early morning sun on a brisk March morn stream across the black slate tile of the floor. The half open door beckons me to come outside and explore the Cornwall air, for a while though I just relish in the luxury of this timeless moment, I simply enjoy my mug of steaming hot tea, on the mug are pictures of of coastal beach huts, I set my mug gently down on a matching place mat, an oil cloth table covering beneath that depicting white Sussex hens, I look up, my son has come down to make coffee before setting off for work in the local school, the old wood beams running across the kitchen ceiling, painted white now sit only inches above my standing son’s head. Last night we had arrived in the early hours of the morning and in the kitchen my son and his new fiancée welcomed our little party. Standing alongside him Jazz proudly extended out a hand, showing us the ring, holding her hand up to the light she turned it a little this way a little that way, as we ‘oood’ and ‘ahhd’ at the diamond and the dazzling sparkles reflecting in the light. Last night we had munched on freshly baked pizza exchanging news while most people would have been long in bed, my husband and I concious that these two would have to be up early for work the next day. A quick tour of the cottage and my husband and I were shown to our room nestled at the back of the cottage, the room had been heated and tea lights lit, there were fresh towels laid out and a vase of brightly coloured flowers decorated the bathroom, my other son Andrew and our old black Lab had the comfort of the front room with the sofa scattered with cushions and throws and a wood burning fire still aglow, everything was perfect.
For once in a long time it seems my husband and I could take breakfast together, afterwards I could write and hubby could take a long uninterrupted shower, Andrew could enjoy sleeping to an indecent hour, while Molly dog sprawled lazily on a rainbow rug in front of the cooker, it is good not to be rushing, to be squeezing that last little chore in before work, to be able to hold a pen and watch how the ink flows upon the crisp white paper. My knees are throbbing from all the kneeling at preschool and collections from after school, my mind feels as though it has taken a pit stop from a high speed race track. I’v gone back to work but it makes me realize how much older I am now and I yearn for a slower life, for growing my veg patch and restocking my chickens. I sit and I imagine I could have that soon, a year or two more my husband says, not a distant dream. Living where we do takes everything, we need to downsize, I worry it will leave us without connection to nature or even to each other.
Saturday Day 2
We took a walk yesterday to find the church Julian and Jazz will be married at in December, It is beautiful, made of old old stone with crafted arches and stone work and glorious coloured stained glass windows. I think of the centuries of couples walking the garden path, the interior flagstones, before kneeling and pledging their vows before God and before loved ones. We found to our delight on our walk we could see far across fields, my eyes felt unaccustomed to gazing without interruption, to looking far, we found a woodland walk at the end of the road also and a bakery, a post office, a pharmacy, and a co-op, a few yards from the house is also the local bus stop serving nearby Portreath, St Ives and Truro. We looked in on the local village hall notice board and saw many events for book sales, children’s clubs, exercise classes and local walkers club. Julian and jazz have definitely moved to somewhere to treasure. Their neighbours are artists and it reflects in the outside of their house, a cosy hippy ensemble both happy and quirky, with primroses intermingled with other flowers, herbs, woods and rocks.Molly seems much better here, though yesterday as we walked along the local beach a rouge wave came in much further than the rest and rolled her over, with her weak legs she could not get up and Andrew ran fully clothed into the cold cold sea and carried her back to safety.
Sunday Day 3
It is the morning of departure and I sit quietly in the kitchen before the rest of the house wakes, my morning candle is lit as is my custom and the flame flickers gently in front of me, the steam from my freshly brewed nettle tea rises and dust particles dance in a ray of light. Flowers their beautiful colours bathe my eyes. The table has been lovingly prepared by Julian and Jazz the night before, two vases of flowers sit on the table, boxes of muesli and porridge a selection of teas and and two rounded mugs with red lettering spelling love perfectly shaped to be held by cupped hands. my heart is beating fast I do not want to return home, I want to stay, change my life, downsize and work towards self sufficiency, write, create. So many of our friends and family have passed away in recent years, that’s what happens as you get older, for some it has been their time, but there have been more than too many younger and tragic passings, I think of my dads passing at such a young age and think of all the times he said “when I retire then we will plant a vegetable garden”. It did not happen for him and it makes me restless to move now, to transition before I am too old, too scared to. Hub wants two more years. I think about how blessed I am I have work many do not, I have wonderful family, I get to stay in Cornwall with loving children, camp in Snowdon, kayak and cliff jump, I have two families close by, I get to swim with grand kids, see another horse ride, another walks round the lake and I get to share all their triumphs and tragedies up close, another child is back home for a while and we are so enjoying this time, and so nothing is black and white and I wonder what I shall be writing in another year or so. We have had a lovely visit with lots of good food, fish and chips and chat, beach walks and walks on the moor, and evening board games, I am sad to be leaving but happy we will see Julian and Jazz again soon, I think we actually get to see them more than when they too were caught in the London rat race.
We have journeyed home and I am aware of how bone achingly sad and tired I am, as we arrived home I looked up into the heavens and saw that there was no twinkling canopy of stars spread out over me as far as the eye could see as there had been in Cornwall, all I could see were dark shapes of the nearby office towers and rows upon rows of houses and flats, the sky seemed so far away, my gaze no longer could roll from one hilltop to another, horizons seeming to never end, bar the flashing warning lights of the lighthouse standing guard over the rocky peninsular. I could no longer see the wild and roomy places where shaggy coated cows gathered around the feeding places, where badgers come out at night in number and animals eyes reflect in the darkness caught in light beams. Only yesterday I had been watching the antics of the seal colony and their negotiation of the precarious swim channel to get to the safety of their cove, their obvious joy and play in the waves that went crashing over the rocks sending pillars of foamy spray skywards. I will never forget the haunting wailing of the seals from across the causeway, unseen, around the rocky base of Godroovey lighthouse as we stood still, looking out, enveloped in the cold mist that had come down all around us, the seals caressing calls now replaced by the heavy drone of the A1 motorway that runs just a few hundred yards from our door. When we had driven down I had remarked how close the clouds had seemed being lighted up by an almost full moon, so close I truly felt I could almost reach up and touch them, I had not realized then that clouds roll in heavy from the Atlantic,they hit landfall and then as they move inland they rise. During the weekend away I had the lovely experience of driving through cloud as we were suddenly enveloped and there was a flurry of hastily engaged headlights all around us as we drove the road that hugs the coast down to Hayle from Portreath. As I write I am remembering writing’s from from thirty years ago, pregnant with my first child I had written about moving away from the city to bring children up knowing their connection to nature, experiencing Gaia. later with a sick child I had tried to get us a move to Iona to break away from illusion and engage reality. As I sit here I am so glad that my son and daughter in law have made it, so very very glad.
An entry from my diary: