I loved the tour. I also watched my reactions. I was in two places at once. I was right there in present time, enjoying the walk while at the same time I was outside of myself, observing my feelings and thoughts.
Uppermost in my mind was the thought that Nicky and Brent have found the perfect life for them. They’ve purchased a wonderful property with open bluffs, rolling hills, a gurgling creek, glorious views, tons of sun and lots and lots of room to roam. They knew what they wanted and through tons of hard work, are creating a perfect paradise for themselves.
I loved the garden – ingenious, creative and productive. Their home is going to have soaring views. If they want to adventure all they have to do is step out their front door. But they have also set themselves up for a lot of hard work – and that doesn’t matter one bit because they have the passion, enthusiasm, will and energy to do it. And I couldn’t help but admire how clever they’ve been in assessing and making the best use of the resources they have, right down to harvesting the soil from their meadow and building a road using their very own gravel pit. They amaze me. Hats off, standing ovations and kudos!
They even have their own abandoned hotel (ghost house?) – it’s all quite marvellous.
I told Nicky, as we walked on the rudimentary and pretty trails, that this was something I missed – being able to walk and walk, right from your own yard. This is something I was lucky enough to have for many years – not just the back 40 but also all of Hemer Park. Nicky has the same lovely situation – her own acres and then crown land and neighbouring land. And it’s all massively attractive and open.
I wondered if I would be able to live here happily if I had this kind of situation. The answer is that I don’t know. First I have to acknowledge that I am not unhappy. I’m just not actively happy. I recall my words for this year: “fierce” and “home.”
I don’t think I’ve been terribly fierce yet – perhaps it’s something to work on. As for home – that’s still a conundrum. I remember that September more than thirty years ago when I flew to Switzerland and took the train to Muerren and rented a studio apartment for six months – I was supposed to live there the entire next spring and summer. It was utterly charming and delightful with windows and a balcony facing the Eiger and Jungfrau. I felt snug and safe inside and utterly at home. I could have nested there forever.
However, moving there never happened. So – what I know is that I felt like I was at home there. Where else? I suppose my little place in Cedar came close but here’s something I never thought of before. I feel very much at home when I’m on the road. When travelling, I always love the feeling of leaving a place and getting on a train. As soon as the train leaves the station, I feel a wonderful peace and an excitement about new destinations.
To some extent I’m a gypsy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want a home base – I like knowing that eventually I’ve got a home to come back to.
Yes, I’d love to have acres and acres to walk on right here – acres that are open and sunny – places to meander. But here we are and the house is looking better all the time. Simon is doing the most amazing job here and when I look at all the practicalities, I am well aware that this is a place I will grow into (so to speak). Mostly, home is Simon. All my life, I have had a strong sense of place as home. That sense of place has shifted and changed – indeed, I think it has vanished and I believe that is one of the things that has me feeling untethered.
Simon is my home. Our love is solid ground.
That doesn’t negate my need of place as home – but it does have me broadening my definitions and looking at change.