Monday, 19 October 2009
Many years ago - probably 14 or so - a neighbour I didn't particularly care for read my Tarot cards. I can remember a surreal feeling as I distanced myself from her, almost in a different time or place as with total accuracy (it transpired), card after card spelt out "Change." And so it came to pass - within weeks I suddenly found myself on an ACCESS course for higher education and within the year, taking a BA in Archaeology. All because I had opened the local "free mag" at the page which held an advert for the University of Wales, Lampeter and the words 'Stones, Bones and Bog-Bodies' leapt off the page at me. To understand the significance of that a look back over my shoulder is necessary, to the three years I spent living in Wiltshire, working with horses, and at some point reading P V Glob's 'The Bog People', which fascinated me and fuelled my burgeoning interest in archaeology. In a way, it prepared me for my future.
I feel in a similar state now. Not quite in the here and now, but as if I am on the top of a hill, looking at myself in a little boat taken randomly by the waves, one moment in a lagoon, and the next whisked around a headland and being dragged out to sea, not knowing quite where I will end up and feeling rather lost.
Things are changing. People I know. People I thought I knew. People who I thought were important in my life quietly moving into the shadows, and others taking their place. I don't know what is going to happen next. I know what I would LIKE to happen, but I cannot be certain of anything. There is no longer a predictable future with my children's school lives. They are making their own way in the world now. We plan to move, to downsize, but the where and the when of that are open-ended. My heart strings are pulled ever more strongly by the West Country, Devon to be precise. I would up-sticks and be off there tomorrow. My husband 'doesn't mind' the West Country, but he wants me to consider Yorkshire, or Northumberland, or - teasingly - Berwick-upon-Tweed!
So, as we gradually prepare for our future, in a new place, a different house, we are having to live each day as it comes, coping with the decisions of what furniture stays, what is sold, what books we can bear to part with, what bits and pieces go in the charity shop box, and doing whatever re-decorating is necessary. The house won't go on the market until spring - and may not sell easily as not everyone is looking for somewhere quite this big - but we still have to do some research on the best area for us, checking out house-prices as some towns are much more desirable than others and thus more expensive or properties are soon snapped up. Our priorities for house-hunting this time are so different to the ones which brought us here, when we wanted a smallholding, somewhere big enough to house both our mothers should they wish to join us (in the event, my husband's mum chose not to), to be near a reasonable school, to be rural but not in the back of beyond.
So, we float rather like lost souls in this liminal time between what was and what will be and think of a future which has blurred edges rather than a sharp focus. Once we know WHERE we are going and WHEN, my excitement will know no bounds. Meanwhile, it is nearly time to think of preparing our evening meal, but perhaps first, just one more tiptoe over the estate agents' thresholds . . .