We all go through times of hardship, it is the cost of being human, but sometimes we go through times when there are no hardships to speak of- yet we are just not happy. Happiness, of course, is overrated- many believe contentment is far more prize-worthy. Personally, I think peace is the dark-horse creeping up on the inside. To me, peace is everything.
You can be in the middle of an emotional storm and if you can keep even a tiny sense of peace in that core of your being then you can weather it. When you don’t have peace everything is hard. I always think of the words of a W.B Yeats poem, “when peace comes dropping slow” . I can really relate to that line, many times, I have felt that lack of peace and it can be excruciating, drip, drip, in small droplets, like the agony of a leaking tap, when what you need is a gushing wave of it to cover you!
I needed waves.
I had recently had my second baby, perhaps it was my hormones, but I just couldn’t settle my heart. My head was o.k, I just knew my soul wasn’t right. There was one place I always went when I had that disturbance inside and it was the sea. I booked a long break at an old familiar seaside town from my childhood. I didn’t particularly want to go there exactly, but, then I came across this little beauty…
Oh how it spoke to my heart! I knew this was somewhere i wanted to be for a while. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I realised I could hire it and a caravan and it was only an hour up the road. I know some would find this strange…it is hardly Barbados and it definitely is a holiday ‘of old’ these days…but a simple, caravan holiday, a spit-away from the sea with a perfect little hut straight out of a Cath Kidston brochure really rocked my boat!
Then I saw the sign at the back of the hut, “by the sea all worries wash away” . That sealed the deal. I knew it was the tonic I needed.
I couldn’t wait to soak it all up. I didn’t care if it rained – alright I did a bit – but I just wanted to drink in that saltiness; take in the energy of that wild air and watch the crashing waves of the North Sea.
We made pancakes in the mornings, a tradition that has stayed with us whenever we have a lazy day of nothingness ahead of us. We fed birds from our caravan door and they came up to my little one’s highchair to feed; she squealed with joy- and the peace dripped. We went for long walks to get the baby to sleep and it dripped some more. We built castles and moats and channels and pretended we were deserted on islands and it dripped and dripped. We got a dingy and took it out to sea and laughed and screamed when we got splashed, then the baby fell asleep in the boat on my lap and we bobbed about near the shoreline. It dripped and dripped and poured and poured and soon we were awash with peaceful, joyous moments and finally relaxed into our lives as a new family.
We didn’t want it to end. So I went in search of a hut of our own. I asked around and rang numbers and discovered they cost a lot. Then we came across a wreck- at least to an untrained eye. To me, a keen spotter of something that is going to make my heart soar, this was a haven by the sea.
I envisaged a retreat where I would spend hours of quality time with diaries of ideas and (in my imagination) a typewriter.
In reality, I had to spend hours cleaning the thickest layer of grime I have ever seen and wire-wool a rusty old gas stove just to get a cuppa at the end of it- but what a cuppa!!!!
Look at that view!!!
To me, she was a beauty… sure, her interiors were, erm, rustic but that was and IS her charm… We intend on dressing her beautifully, it has been a long process, there were stairs to fix, stain to buy and rusty nails to deal with. This year though, it is the interior that will take the limelight and I cannot wait!! Below is the first time I went in, after picking up the keys, and recently… after painting!!!!!!!
There are many things in life to try us and none of us escape pain or a lack of peace, as I guess we won’t truly find this until we meet our maker, but, I have found if I concentrate on the things that make my heart do back-flips then I get a little closer to that peace.
Now can you see how this hut is begging for crochet??!!
More pics to follow, charting the journey of this neglected- but heavenly -hut!
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