This is where we have lived for three years, a mobile home in the middle of a wood in South Devon. We arrived as a family of six, fresh from our 18 foot yurt on Dartmoor, and before that our five bedroom house in North Devon!
In just under two weeks we will leave as a family of five for a two month respite in a house, courtesy of some lovely friends, before moving onto our own piece of woodland nearby; this time in an eclectic blend of a dwelling..part timber, part caravan, part bender. The first two parts of the eclectic blend are already in place, and the third part, the bender, will be built when Hugh returns from a ten day wilderness survival quest in the Pyrenees. I will be busy harvesting hazel poles in the meantime and chopping firewood, lots and lots and lots. Ready for a hungry woodburner and a cosy home.
It's so strange to think about leaving, my heart feels settled here like nowhere else. We have very kindly been allowed to live here by some more lovely friends, well past our expected stay of six months, and for me it will be hard to go, I have felt so close to life here, close to my family, close to the earth. Part of the surging swell of the year's cycle.
Life is lived close to the weather, we feel the spiky frosts through the thin walls and huddle close to the fire in woollen long john's, snuggle deep under the blankets for stories and hot chocolate. We know the winter so thoroughly, the dazzling ice ferns painted on our windows, the ice in the water pipes. We live the winter.
Life is lived close to the sunny open easy summer days, pattering barefoot, picking lettuce, a jay noisily flustering away among the trees, a precious blue feather caught in the ferns. The sun soaks us, fills us until we drift away into the cool trees quiet in the sun, dappled and entrancing. A golden bug, a shimmering damsel fly, the flutter of wings among the flowers. We live the summer,
Life is lived among the scents of May, the ringing of the bluest fairy bells, the promise of the unfurling burgeoning wood, spring swirls around us, dances with us, spins us around in the dizzying energy of new life, eggs crack among the leaves. We live the spring.
And we live autumn now, the settling down grumbling surge of the earth shifting under its leaf mantle, gathering, enfolding, hurrying to rest before the winter chills. Madcapping squirrels and their autumn carnival, chestnuts cracking in the fire,
We feel the change of the earth, the movement of the seasons here. We cannot escape the chills and changes, the mud and the hurried night trip outside in sheets of rain. We live in a very small space but have many acres of trees around us....outside happens alot.
Every corner of the wood, every corner of our home, holds a memory, an occasion, the skeleton of a den, a forgotten birthday song, a whispered secret, a lilting lullaby. Laughings, cryings, bakings, makings, firewood foragings, tree scrambling days, we have lived so much here. This wood has held so many tears and ragings so much loving and sighing, so much life in all its tragic and majestic complexity, in all its magnificent splendour. The flow of life, which moves on.. and on, and with us and through us and never ends.
And so we will move on.