At the beginning of last week I’m packing for a week in a yurt in the West of England. Slightly up from camping, I knew the yurt would have a wooden floor and wood burning stove. Despite the sunshine outside, I assumed I’d be cold. I hate being cold. I shove a warm jacket into the top of my bag and then lingered over a pair of shorts. Would they fit in the bag. I worn them once maybe twice over the summer. I left the shorts on the bed.
After some hours in the car I am standing in a field in Somerset. The grass is very very green and the sky is very very blue. There are chickens and a lot of bird song. I am meeting the one other family with whom we will be sharing a field for the next few days. It’s hot. very hot and I find myself feeling slightly jealous of the woman’s summer dress. It dawns on me that leaving the shorts behind was a mistake. Briefly, I consider cutting down my favorite jeans.
Shorts aside. The yurt is perfect, comfortable and the location is stunning. A working farm in the deepest countryside. At night there is no light pollution and nothing to do except drink wine and stare at a million, billion stars, as an owl screeches in the trees above. In the morning, each morning, I sit in the quiet of the field. There are only four yurts in two fields and only 3 are occupied. I watch birds flit in and out of the hedgerow and drink tea outside the yurt. It’s a peaceful start to the day.
A few days later I’m standing besides the sea, waiting for fish and chips. Seagulls cry overhead, our shadows stretching in front of us. Starving at the end of a day on the beach, in an attempt to stop the day from ending we’ve stayed for chips, any excuse to stay longer. Finally, I’m dressed for sunshine, wearing a skirt I’ve borrowed from a friend who lives nearby. We’ve spent the day on the sand catching up while our children play in the sea. I look at the calm sea and take in the light gently softening, it feels as if it’s been summer forever. All the rain and cold is forgotten. all the ‘stuff’ that complicates life a world away. It’s a moment to savour and linger upon. My boy’s hair is particularly curly from a day by the sea. His face is slightly kissed by the sun. His skinny legs dwarfed by a pair of red crocs and beach shorts. In a week he starts school. We’ve manage to leap and catch a wonderful week of sunshine in the countryside and beside the sea just before school and it’s been idyllic. I feel blessed.