Stillness & the Scent of Gorse


I've not written much about our house building here because it has been a very stressful business indeed! A potent mixture of waiting and hoping, long lonely hours for Nick in the office while I keep the fridge stocked, house cleaned and home fires burning. Evenings are spent poring over every line of each new version of our contract until we can't think straight, working out budgets and cost plans, hoping that it won't rain next week and the materials we ordered will actually turn up this time.


Then in the middle of our self-build tornado came a weekend of perfection. Life crashed on relentlessly outside and we knew that this was the eye of the storm. That singing stillness in our heads was the sound of reprieve - just for a weekend - and we were fools if we didn't just throw off our shoes and cool our feet in the water for a while.


On Saturday we headed down to the beach, portable barbecue and hand-made burgers at the ready. Friends came and went, sandy children ran after one another, we licked our salty fingers and basked in the warm sun as a keen wind tugged at our windbreak and fanned the charcoal.

We fell into bed as tired as children, wind-chafed and rosy, without a thought in our heads.

Sunday unfolded slowly, washing hung on the line, Finley bouncing on the trampoline. We ate a lazy garden picnic and lay like well thumbed books under a tented sheet.

We quenched our thirst with a cool, sparkling glass of probiotic ginger beer (recipe and picture to follow), whilst Nick remembered the rum and ginger cocktails of our Brixton summers before Fin. Carefree and frolicsome - even then, we still longed for a small person to complete our family.

When the light turned gold we drove to Stonebarrow for a pre-supper walk. A sea haze obscured the horizon as we stood at the cliff edge, held our breath a little and imagined floating weightless, buoyed by the sea mist.

All around us, gorse bushes shone cadmium yellow, swollen with flowers. We inhaled a lungful of pure coconut mimosa, a deeply sea-salty, iodine breeze filled, sun-creamy scent of summer.

Palms together, fingers woven, evening sun bathed our foolishly smiling faces until we decided that supper was calling.

Back home, baked potatoes and an evening on the sofa beckoned invitingly.

Ah yes! It may well be the fleeting quiet at the heart of a tornado, but we let it soothe our souls as though it would last forever.

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