I was changed by the journeys. The long, long hours in the car with my dearest boys and my love. The anticipation, the excitement of a 5 year old, the acceptance and protests of a 2 year old. The solidarity and comfort of being us, adventuring together.
I was changed by the barn (conversion) we called home for two weeks. It’s thick solid Cornish slate walls, it’s garden full of wild mint, blackberries and apple trees. By how it was all we dream of in a forever home and we could glimpse how we might live one day – should we get that lucky.
I was changed by the wild. By the blue, green, gold and grey. The cornish coastline that I love so much. The bays, the headlands, the Atlantic. The sun, the wind and the rain. The way the beaches change so much from year to year but stays familiar. How they are so full of possibilities for two families, 5 children and a pile of spades.
I was changed by the sea. By the gradual conquering of my fear of sea swimming. By just throwing myself at it and doing what I could. By it’s power. By the cold. By the fun.
I was changed by the cornfields surrounding us. By the daily walks to the beach or the farm shop with the wheat whispering as we passed through. By a five year old so happy that he sang to the corn as his outstretched fingers brushed the tips of it, through one field, and the next, then the next. By every shade of gold you can imagine.
I was changed by the time with my very best people on the planet. By watching my children and godchildren make sea defenses, pools and memories together. By watching each of us breath out and soak up what we needed.
I was changed by the movement. The cycling, the hiking, the digging, the walking, the swimming, the body-boarding. The adventure. By being the mother I want to be, but which I didn’t always know how to be. The kind who hops on a bike or dives into the sea because that’s what her boys are doing. By acknowledging my (relatively) indoor childhood and embracing their outdoor adventurous one.
I was changed by the owl sightings. In awe of that owl. By the bats flying madly around the garden at night. By the golden full moon that took our breath away. By the swallows swooping along the hedgerows as we made our way along the bumpy tracks.
I was changed by the aga, of all things! That radiant heat, making toast under the hotplate, a constant pot of tea warming on it, it’s earthy feel, that warm spot on the floor in front.
All of this and more imprinted on my soul and I feel good. Hankering after it, of course. Daydreaming of living amongst cornfields and owls and agas one day. But focused on fun and adventure with our boys. And loving the life and the home we already have.
Thank you Cornwall for filling me up again.
(For full disclosure – in addition to all this loveliness there were of course tantrums, challenges, overtired mealtimes, the fun of keeping a toddler’s plaster cast dry on a beach, shifting boundaries, changing plans and all that fun stuff! Normal family, normal holiday, ups and downs and full of love).