Heart and Art move to another country! Home is where the art is!!
So, we moved to another country!.... OK, so not the one we are supposed to be in by now, but instead to the beautiful country of Wales. Things changed very quickly while we were holed up on Dartmoor, the country went in the Covid-19 lockdown and as people of 'no fixed abode' were in a pretty precarious position... basically no home to lock down in. Marvellous friends came to our rescue, so many offered help. In the end we travelled to our dear friends in Wales in our car ... Marc, me, Rowan the Whippet, Chibi the Chihuahua, our house bunny, Pyewackett, and our little green Budgie Tesla. Leaving Dartmoor was strange, empty, a place we love so dearly now felt barren somewhat, like we shouldn't be there anymore. The few people we came into contact with for diesel etc seemed nervous, suddenly afraid, and yet there was always a new thing on parting.... "Stay safe, take care." I guess, after all, we are learning we all need human contact no matter how fleeting. Dartmoor.... we will be back to love you again :(
And so across the border and into Wales!! I love Wales, we used to come here so much as kids my brother and I, mum and dad... the landscape is really familiar, in a way it reminds me a lot of Lancashire where I am from. We are now locked down in a really cute little camper van in a gorgeous area, surrounded by fields, watching the flowers grow, seeing the leaves on the trees get bigger every day. We are blessed and we know it. We are massively grateful. I bought a solar and wind up radio (we are learning a lot about solar power!) ... I feel like a shorter, darker, rounder Ron Weasley when the Potter kids are on the run when it's on and crackling a little in the van... leaning in to hear the news of what's going on in the rest of the country. But it's a comforting connection... the sound of other voices, The Archers carrying on as though nothing has happened, the food programmes making impossible meals... it's all quite sweet really.
We've settled into van life, Marc's sketching and researching, I'm crocheting another blanket, surrounding myself with granny squares, but I can feel the inspiration of all the countryside seeping in... I predict sculpture jewellery inspired by Welsh castles, dragons... and the little birds and flowers who have become our neighbours. We have adopted a Bank Vole that is eating all the RSPB suet pieces we put out, and expect one day it will be too fat to fit back in its hole!
Life has slowed... for all of us except the amazing keyworkers and medical staff who are the divine silver network keeping this country running... we owe them more than we can ever express... the NHS doctors, nurses, midwives, back up staff, drivers, paramedics, social welfare workers... and also delivery drivers, postal workers, food manufacturers, food suppliers, petrol station staff, essential supplies retail staff, bus drivers.... there are too many to name, but OMG what utter heroes and heroines all of you. All on the front line providing the caring we need, the fight and logistics. Bless each and every one.
So, home... what is home, what does it actually mean? I was pondering this as someone peculiarly temporarily homeless, along with thousands of others across the world trapped in the wrong countries... how would one define 'home'? And as I looked at my dogs mooching around in the celandine dotted grass, as we were heading back to the van where Marc was it dawned in me (Bunny and Tesla are in the main house for anyone wondering!) Home is not a place... it's a state of mind. Home is where one feels love, and that includes the love of oneself. Home IS where the heart is.... if one feels love, one has home. That could be a grand castle or the smallest van someone is living in (precarious times for 'vanners' at the moment, but more of this at a later date).... home can be with other people... or on ones own, so long as there is a feeling of love.
Home, though, needs to be a place we can all contribute too as well, a responsibility. Too many people are homeless in the truest sense of the word... not only no shelter, but unloved by others, lost, and have forgotten how to love themselves because their situations are so desperate that home seems an impossibility. Love seems an impossibility. So, the next time you, or I are out, after the lockdowns end... please let's all be so very kind to the homeless, they need us as brothers and sisters, as family, to show them love and kindness, so they can learn they are valuable human beings. Show a little love, we need to learn from this, that we can spare a smile, sometimes a few quid some of us, a kind word, a bit of food bought for our poorest as an extra bit of shopping... to give someone that sense of worth... to lead them....well, home. May they one day all find their way home. Feel touched by love and kindness.
Stay safe everyone.... our love to you all x
ps pix of heading into Wales, where we are and life in the van :)