A couple of days ago I was unexpectedly served notice on my flat. I now feel an unsettling mixture of excitement as to the next part of my journey and acute grief at losing my home.
I moved here three and a half years ago after a particularly rough year of virtual homelessness. A studio flat in a converted barn, it is spacious and light and perfect for painting in. A miles walk across the fields from the nearest village it stands amongst fields and woods steeped in Norman and Saxon history. A haven made of beams and branches that move with the wind and surrounding trees like a living breathing tree-house. The wonderful sound of rain on the roof; the hoot of owls in the night and wood pigeons hoo-hooing by day; the smell of earth, leaf and fields of wheat, my senses singing now they are away from the city life I had known before.
Where will I go now? How do I survive leaving somewhere that feels so much a part of me?
It still seems strange that a year ago I spent most of the year travelling and away from home. I particularly remember feeling that home was people; I missed my niece, family and friends so much it hurt! I also carried my ‘home’ on my back, a turtle-shell full of my clothes and sleeping bag, a few books and journal, camera and toothbrush. Did I really need more than I could carry? But in the end I realised it was emotional baggage that I needed to shed, and perhaps a few books…
Since then I find I carry mainly colours within me, the amazing array of the Painted Desert, the subtle ones of a frozen Swedish lake, the vibrant golden beauty of Angkor Wat, along with the vastness of skies and of my love for the people in my life. All this doesn’t need packing or storing or clearing out. With this I can find and create a home again… perhaps an improved version that’s a little warmer in winter.