Monday, 6 June 2016

Last moments at Barnsfield

So, after packing boxes and boxes and spending innumerable hours sorting and resorting, decluttering and giving away, the day for moving the furniture - and thus most of our life here - has arrived.

It is a good morning for moving.
Sea mist rolls across the fields, gentle as a whisper

The garden is shrouded in distant fog

After a spectacular sunset the night before, where the sun poured a liquid gold path onto the beach, the sea fog has rolled in. In the night, we heard a new foghorn, its high-pitched peep-peep-peep at odds with the usual deeper sound of the harbour horn.

One of us does not like fog. Fog is redolent of anxious days spent waiting with passengers for a flight; or the knowledge that a take-off does not necessarily guarantee a safe landing when fog is in the air. Fog is dangerous.

I think of the fishermen who died a couple of years ago when the ferry ran into their little boat outside the port of St Malo. I think of their terror as the sound of the engines bore down inexorably until the boat was on them.  I think of those who sit in airports, waiting, waiting to be called for a flight.

Yet still I like fog. I like the magical mysterious air it causes. The hanging silence over the field, dampening even the greatest sound of motorbike or scooter. I like the calm.

So, in the morning of Moving Day as I wake up to fog, I rejoice, just a little, in the calm and the quiet and the knowledge that the work will not be made more arduous by a fierce sun. I have done much of my moving under Africa's fierce sun and I am glad for gentler, milder air.

It is a good day for moving. And it was a good day for moving, as the sun came out later and lit up our new home. A calm day, a productive day.

So now, as I sit in the twilight, birds singing out their souls in the cool evening air, I am thankful for a good day. We will stay on for one or two last nights in this place that has been our home for nearly 12 years. This home, with its magical garden, has been a wonderful gift which we have loved and appreciated. Loving and appreciating sharing it with countless others - and there is always room for more. But this is now the end of this season, and the start of another.

We are camping now, as we did when we moved in and our furniture was still on its way. The house is nearly empty, bare rooms reminding me that soon they will live quite happily without us.

"What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from."
TS Eliot, from Little Gidding, The Four Quartets

We start from here, from this end. A new beginning.

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