Thursday, 6 September 2012

And the wind came......

And the wind came, like Septembers dawn always brings, and the plants and trees in its wake blackened, as they always did. . The air hung with the damp chill of autumn and the heathers remaining blooms were scattered in the scabious boldly holding their own, slightly battered and brown but resplendent all the same.

After the storm abaited, the sun shone as if awoken from a dream. She momentarily felt the excitement of autumn tones to come and then she remembered how the wind would rob the trees of their leaves soon before they could colour and fall. Autumn might show its face for but a blink of an eye, then the cruel storms of winter will arrive. Cruel winds, the payment for such a beautiful open low lying landscape. And she wept, salty tears, easily rivalling the salty wind, they stung her cheeks.

All the while the change was occurring, black burnt leaves, shrivelled by salt and wind clung on to their stems. Whilst the dreadful burning of foliage is a familiar sight in the Orkney climate, their appearence held their normal dread. The weather is changing, winter is coming.

And she walked home, slightly unfamiliar with the terrain, ambling purposefully towards the new cosy cottage. It's relative shelter welcomed after the brisk early morning walk. However, all the while she was dreading the dawn of this day, it brought the final goodbye. The wind increasing more gales forecast today only sought to hasten her steps.

The car started to travel along familiar tracks, verges battered by the storm looked sorry and sad. Even at this early hour the farmers were busy, a harvest to being home, the gales a stark warning of the weather to come. Crops must be hastily gathered, beasts catered for over the worst of it.  And nothing will stop it. Access to fields needed quickly before their saturation prevents the processes. Winter is coming, bring the prolonged rain rendering fields inaccessible and the wind to rob the leaves from their owners.
 
The turn down the track revealed the stripped branches of the elder and fushia's, how sad. Thier efforts in growing thwarted by gales, no doubt they will try again next year. The outer door of the old homestead opened with a resounding thud. Better care needed in such weather, she chastised herself for knwoing better. The howling winds thwarted door closing and wishing she had company she wrenched the door closed and wedged it with a large stone collected from the beach. 

And she wept.

Not the exertion, although the efforts had been great. She wept for the reality of life. She wept for the choices of open clear skies and silence (aside the wind). She wept for a life that might have been, but was never fruitful in this dwelling.

And she said goodbye to the homestead. She hailed farewell to the views, she hailed farewell to the coos. Each room door closed carefully and with love and purpose, each window lock checked. More storms forecast. Better safe than sorry. A peek in the byres revealed stark empty walls, chooks now rehomed no more of thier antics here. The byre door slid shut sullenly, unheard in the winds which were thwarting her escape.

No look back to the garden. Nothing to see here. No stroking of foliage, nor picking of blooms, no cuttings to take, no plants to dig up. Aside the Alchemila and the willow, nothing lives, a barren barren, bleak, might have been something perhaps, almost garden. Already gorged, half under water the soil saturated. Half burnt willow leaves bravely waved frantically in the wind and bid her a fond farewell. 

The final goodbye. The final submission. The final closing. Probsbly the first locking of doors of this house on her watch. She drove away heavy hearted.

Looking onwards she drove slowly,  barely a few miles towards a new home, and to the hope of happier times.


35 comments:

  1. OMG what has happened. I have been worried about you with no posts for 2 months. Are you ok?

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    1. This post is depressing. Did you leave your little island home???? I am so sad for you if so.

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    2. Hi Paula sorry to worry you so much! I've just not been able to write, we've had a few really horrible family related issues to deal with lately and lifes got too much for a while. Its been a long and hard decision to leave our current house with the amazing views but life under water and constant battle of winds from all four directions was just too much. So we found a cosy cottage in the nearby village.

      Onwards to brighter and happier times.

      The cottage is beautiful and lovely and warm but has no garden. Although room for a few pots so we'll see what that adventure brings.

      I didn't mean to sound depressing more saddenned by the reality of the situation and the decision to leave.

      Chickens are rehomed to a couple of beautiful friends who are treating them like royalty. Half a dozen of them with Einstien (cockeral) live 10 doors from our new cottage, so I pop along most days and say hello/goodnight to them. My friend is very understanding!

      The polytunnel is down and currently being sought a new home in which to thrive. We never covered it so taking it down was relatively easy.

      The children now have access to buses on their doorstep, so that's freeing up so much of my time.

      More time for adventures. Onwards and upwards.

      Thanks for the comment, sorry to have worry you. I am always taken aback by folks kindness.

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    3. My dream would be to live in the middle of Shapinsay, with a nice windbreak all around with good views of the sea. Hmmm. It's definetly a dream!
      What town are you in or near? Are you close to Stomness or Kirkwall.
      Sounds like you are ok. Glad to hear you are safe. The "sound" part might take a while.

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  2. Oh how sad, and beautifully written. My fingers are crossed for you, whatever's going on I hope it all comes right in the end.

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    1. Thank you very much Sproutlingwrites. I feel positive about the changes now and we're only a few miles from our old spot, so I can still visit our 'beach' too. I'm touched you think its beautifully written, I'm often too pragmatic in my writing so that's a lovely compliment thank you.

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  3. Whilst I am glad to see a post here after so long, as we were getting worried too, this is a very sad post, and like the others, makes me wonder whatever has happened. It does sound as if you have moved, and it doesn't sound as if you are happy about it. Please just let us know that you are OK.

    Aside from that, this is very beautiful writing.

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    1. It just got too much Morgan. The constant wind and the waterlogged garden became so depressing that I no longer felt any affinity with the earth and my garden. I watched things shrivel and die too often. I feel, well I felt broken. I gave up, whilst it feels like a failure, I think that I've learned my boundaries. You're right I wasn't happy to leave but even less happy to stay in a place where I was terrified of covering a tunnel as I was convinced it would be ripped apart in the winds. Despite my best efforts, I hung up a white flag and retreated.

      Thank you for the compliment regarding the writing. I am very humbled by it.

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  4. Aw Fay ((((((((((((()))))))))))))) Hope you're alright lass. Wish you lots of new adventures in your cosy new cottage. Lots of love xxx

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    1. The sofa is in the new kitchen, the seagull has its sea view and the puppies are confused by this 'walkign on a lead lark' but happy to have so many adventures already. We're good Cheery - adventures await and I'm sure they'll be plentiful. x

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  5. I don't think it's depressing at all, I think it is a spectacularly beautifully written and truly heartfelt piece.
    Cosy is good. We like cosy. Hope the settling goes well. Huge hugs xxx

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    1. Robyn, knowing you as the down to earth saying it how it is girl that you are that compliment blew me away. Thank you so much for saying you thought it was beautifully written. After the years of being berrated for my writing abilities its so lovely to hear such a lovely compliment.

      Cosy is good. As is a lot of light rooms and a double woodburner. :) We are so lucky to find such a gorgeous spot and such a friendly and helpful landlady. I'm sure we looked like something from the Clampets when we arrived with dozens of fish boxes, piles of pots and chunks of drift wood. I'll have it all stashed in the garage soon. xxx

      And, my chooks are so near I can talk to them every day and I'd almost swear I heard Einstien crow.............good lad that he is.

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  6. I am glad to read that some of you know where she is - thank you x

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    1. They are a good bunch aren't they! I'm but a peedie blink from the last place but cosier and much happier already!

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  7. Beautifully written with an underlying keening note. I hope you've not had to leave the isles and if you've gone far away I hope that one day you'll return.
    I've enjoyed your posts and I hope that at some time in the future there will be more.

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    1. Hello Croft Garden
      We've moved by a few short miles and are now surrounded by buildings and walls and a couple of lovely sycamores. No garden will be a challenge but I do believe my fish box fetish will come in useful!

      I'll be posting more regulary now that we're moved and beginning to settle in.

      Adventure galore await us I'm sure. Thank you so much for you're lovely comment xx

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  8. Whats going on?

    Is final final or final till spring?

    The weathers changed here at Rock HQ too, sunshine for a change, less mud!

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    1. Easy answer is I'm being a drama queen and have had enough of the wind! We're relocated to a smaller cosier place. Rock HQ sounds like you've got lots of sunshine coming too. To be fair the weather here has been better over the summer than the rest of the UK but the winds are a coming.

      Hatch battening times approaching.

      Good luck with yours!

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    1. Pat we'll get there - with a new start I'm hoping the heal process will begin and be rampant. Thanks for popping byxx

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    1. Thank you Claire - I hope you are well! x

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  11. That's a really moving and heart-felt goodbye Fay. Take care of yourself in your new home.

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    1. Thank you Janet - a cottage with no garden - how many pots do you think I can manage to sneak into the nooks and crannies. We look out towards the sea and through some trees so the rustling of those are keeping the dogs very confused. A few seconds and we're on the shore. The cottage has a lovely heartening feel. It was difficult to decide to go, heartwrenching but I can't live where I can't grow plants. When even the primula's gave up and rotted/burnt to death, I knew it was time to leave.

      Nicely the alchemilla tucked around the house is battered by holding its own and the willow hedge grows regardless. Tough as old boots those too!

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  12. Sad but happy I feel, hurrah for new beginnings and a lighter spirit. I've thought of you often recently even though I don't know you, and as above I've been concerned that all was not well. Sometimes while you see things as "giving up", it's just choosing something different and saying I've tried but that's just not for me any more. Happy, happy new home. And as others have said, beautifully written! X

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  13. So glad you are OK, I was thinking earlier that you'd not posted in a while and hoped you were alright. What a co-incidence to see your post today, when I've spent much of the last 48 hours planning a trip to Stromness next summer :}

    It's heartbreaking to constantly try to grow plants which are ruined by the weather and sometimes moving on is the only way to stay sane. Perhaps there is a sheltered garden in your new village where the owners are too old to manage it themselves and you might grow on their land and share the produce? Look forward to your posts about the new cottage as you settle in.

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  14. You are such a talented lady Fay. Love reading you - excellent word choices and so evocative. May you find peace and warmth in your new nest. You seem to have lots of lovely and generous people in your life! Take care Flo xx

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  15. You brought tears to my eyes, Fay ... I'm glad you were able to move house, somewhere cosier and friendlier to you, and to your plants, though I know there's still a garden issue ...

    With love, to you and yours.

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  16. What a lovely lovely post. Sad.....but lovely. So well written.
    I wish you all the best in your new home. Nicky

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  17. Good luck in your new home. Hope all goes well for you. As previously said, 'cosy is good'. Seems there's a lot of bloggy moving going on around now. Must be something in the genes/jeans - or wellies!

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  18. cosy cottage and adventures, that can be good. I did suffer with you as you battled to garden in the wind. Sounds as if your children and dogs are settling in well, and that will make it easier for you.

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  19. Phew! Good to know you are well. Try keeping goats, you soon get used to things not growing, or rather growing and then disappearing! :)
    Hope new move works out and you feel inspired to keep us up to date on the microholding :)

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    1. Thanks Tony - micro holding is much smaller but hey we'll fathom something out. Chicken's boarded along the road is quite fun, but a goat. Um, I'll let those more goat minded enjoy that. :)

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  20. Oh my, as I read this tears rolled down my cheek. I feel like i have just read the most moving piece of poetry to have touched my heart in ever such a long time. I feel your pain at the decision to move and all of the upheaval that move causes you but you are so right Onwards and Upwards lady, onwards and ever upwards. Or, as a certain good lady say, to infinity and beyond.
    Thank you for such a beautiful, lyrical piece of art which moved me so much. Robyn is so right, it is truly beautiful.

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  21. Lots of changes, and much bravery. The new job seems perfect :) :) And a cottage by the sea sounds like a wonderful place to be in winter...

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