When I started this blog I had a very clear vision of what this space was about. There were three elements which were held here;
The Woodland folk...
For four years I lived with my family in the middle of a wood in Devon. The first three in a mobile home, the last in our self build cabin. This blog was about living in small spaces with minimal possessions and no electricity, it was about hand washing by candlelight and writing in notebooks by the fire, and stepping out into beautiful woodland by night to the ghostly owl shadows gliding down the valley.
I also wrote about the oils, tinctures and balms I made for my family from wild harvested herbs, and the hedgerow food and medicine around our land. Connection and healing through plants and trees.
Finally, this blog has been space for my daughter Lily, who died four years ago; time and space for me to think about her, share how life is, and was, and could be without my daughter, and what she means for our family.
Some things have changed. And so the blog will change .
We now live in the wing of a mansion, as part of a community of people who sing, and garden together; share space, food and land.
We have an indoor bathroom, access to a washing machine and mains electricity, which to begin with felt odd and wrong after our deep connection with a simpler life on the land. When our cabin burnt down, we had to live somewhere, and after much searching and deliberation, this felt right. And it is. Somehow it is.
We are no longer the family in the woods, we no longer straddle two centuries, bathing in a tin bath, then dashing off to school in a car, but for me in particular, the departure from this way of life has been hard. Not just the loss of the beautiful cabin that we, (well Hugh) worked so hard to build, but it felt like a failure that we were creeping back to mainstream society with our tail between our legs. I missed the closeness to nature and cooking dinner on the campfire, stepping out of the door into wildness.....
'When's the rebuild?' so many people asked in the early days after the fire, and truely neither Hugh or I really ever wanted to.
To return to the blackened scene of such devastation, to a piece of land which, if the truth be known, we had never chosen because it was the most beautiful woodland.
And then I was pregnant. We were exhausted, and our kids needed stability and safety, normality. We have lost so much, our home, our possessions, the chicks, the cat, the rats (Holly and Sophie since you ask) the goats (Goats?.Why yes...Lauren, Lauretta, Abby and Dolly.....they're's a whole blog post just waiting to happen, can't believe they've escaped being featured!)
but we have also gained so much. Wisdom for a start, to have learnt from big mistakes and misguided ways of approaching projects. We have received so much love and unfailing support from friends an strangers, and a realisation that community is more important than independance. I have learnt that receiving is as beautiful (and a lot harder) than giving, and the web of connecion and interdependance between us is the magic and the fabric of our lives and makes us human. (Yes its basic stuff, but I'm a slow learner, these big jolts in my life accelerate my schooling in the bits I'm falling behind in) We've also gained a new baby, little Finch.
And so things are different. We've been forced to reevaluate our lives, one day I was drawing up business plans for our smallholding, herb products; projecting milk yields and planning my first batch of goats milk soap (with investment of specialised oils, and equipment all at the ready), costing out yurts for our planned retreat centre for bereaved families and disadvantaged kids......the next....its all gone.
And so we move on, and change, and there are other things in our lives, and other paths which, who knows may wind in the same direction one day.
I still gather herbs and bottle nature's medicines for the winter chills, Lily is still my daughter and a luminous presence in our family, I'm still homeschooling Tansy and Leo and writing and creating, but now things are moving.
Life is bigger than I have let myself believe. I'm exploring what this means. Bringing together the things that make me sing and smile and weaving them together to make a blanket of healing. Healing for me, healing for many. The colour and weave is yet unknown although patterns and hues swirl around me, notebooks are filling with lists, threads of projects, ideas....consolidating, envisioning.
I'm just working my way through Leonie Dawson's Incredible yearbook and planner 2013 , yes in July, should have done it in January, and it's just what I need. Check it out....well at least in readiness for 2014, but July is better than not at all eh? Newborn baby and all!
Little Finch is already a healer in our lives in so many ways, he's brought so much love with him..........and that newborn ageless wisdom, and a soft, silky head to nuzzle.
So this blog will change. Reflecting life's twists and unexpected turns. I hope you'll come too, it's amazing to have you along.
I remember hitting 'publish' the very first time I wrote on here and it felt so strange....who on earth would want to read it anyway? But you have, and people have, and sharing is uplifting and healing and really joyful and fun.....Thankyou.....