I’ve been reminded this week of the first time we saw North Lodge in Myddfai, now our home for almost three years. It was a rainy day at the end of October 2014 and we knew we belonged here before we got through the gates. All our previous homes have “spoken” to me long before we’ve reached the front door, and getting that sense of belonging was the first indicator that we’d found our forever-home.
“If we think it’s beautiful on a cold, wet, grey and miserable day, then we’re going to be amazed by it in the spring” John said, as we sat discussing our offer in the car after just 20 minutes in the woods and even less time in the cottage.
And as I look out at our garden and small woodland, through a typical November drizzle, I still find myself overwhelmed by the beauty of this place. We’ve found a little piece of our long-term dream and we’re making it work. I watch the variety of birds coming to feed as the sun sets, getting the last nibble of the day before the bats come out. I listen to the stream running full thanks to the rain, and still find it one of the most restful sounds I’ve ever heard.
I am hugely grateful that we took the plunge and decided to follow our dream, and start a whole new way of living. It’s hard work living this way, using our own coppiced woodland to provide fuel for heating, cooking and hot water. Looking after a woodland and wetland and bog garden, of around two acres, requires every available hour of daylight and some serious wet-weather clothing. And we’re learning as we go with the vegetable patch, expanding into poly-tunnels next year (we hope).
Every evening brings us to the Rayburn, slightly soggy and smiling, covered with aches, wood shavings and clay. We’re always proud of what we’ve achieved during the day, and mostly knackered but happy. We’ve found our happy place, our next chapter. We’re learning, day by day, to let go of the old way of doing, and focusing on being. It takes time.