|An all too rare walk on the beach|
It's often said that moving house is one of life's most stressful events—along with divorce, death of a close relative; a change of job or school... Combine two or more of these and the strain can fracture even the tightest of bonds. In our case they remain tight and intact, but there's no denying these last few months have taken a toll.
For to live where we do exacts a price that few appreciate and most romanticise.
The reality of rural life is somewhat different to the magazine dream—and especially so, when you add 'remote' to the mix. Chores and choices that were once incidental require careful scheduling: popping to the shops is an hour's round trip; the nearest airport, three hour's drive... Much of our life—and that of our dog's—revolves around the tides.
But there are compensations too.
This morning we walked the silver-washed sands at Newgale, dark clouds gathering as Oscar chased his ball, oblivious. There were dead seals on the shore; pups washed up overnight... two miles in and I was regretting my decision to forego a coat. A great deal here depends on the wind.
And yet, today—like with so many of our darker thoughts— the billows passed and brighter skies prevailed.
At the head of the beach, I caught Jane looking out to sea and remembered when we first came here, how we'd walked and walked... and made decisions that are with us still. That they have is as much fate as it was foresight, for if these few months have taught us anything, it is that nothing is truly in our control, and that to think otherwise is hubris.
As we turned to face our home I reflected that change and stress—like birth and death—are part of life; it's how we respond that shows and makes us who we are. And if at times that's tough or taxing, it doesn't mean it's not worth the effort.