This blog series has been an exercise in privacy and trust for me.
I move from the part of me which knows the sacredness of storytelling, which is living freely and with joy. That has no need to hide. Against the soul shadows which crave intense privacy. A daily choice, challenge in bravery.
We have just come back from a week in a cabin in the Forest of Dean. I loved it, I adore with the power of an aching true north in my heart the idea of being that far away from everyone, a cabin in wooded mountains with miles in between us and the world.
A hideaway, and being able to do yoga in the garden in privacy without being overlooked.
I need to get past this, after all as the nanny used to say “don’t worry darling, no one will be looking at you“.
But can you imagine? Just us, miles from anywhere and anyone. But I love people too and I love parties, and I don’t think humans are designed to live in nuclear families, I think we gravitate towards villages and community.
I mean it sounds lovely, and I do look at the old farms for sale up in Blaenavon when we drive past and dream. But that’s a lot of land to look after, and it is lonely with only the hills for company. It’s scary when you get snowed in, and hard when the nearest place to get vegan food is a long, long drive away.
When my mother moved us in with Grandma, after she had her last baby (my little brother) we went from being in a house outside of things to being in the centre of the village.
Mrs M. over the road sat in her window all day and just watched the world go by. She would ring up Enid next door and say “Oh I saw Claire this morning, she looked so lovely in that coat, very smart today” or “Claire came out this afternoon, I saw her walking the baby around the garden. Nice for them to have some sunshine for it”.
This was her connection to the outside world.
She wasn’t curious, nosey or inquisitive, she was just involved.
Mum, in going about her daily life, was unknowingly providing a service. She gave Mrs. M something to look at, to comment on and a way to engage with the world.
When people watch us we worry they judge, but sometimes they are just interested, and it may be that you are actually very interesting.
We can be making a difference in the world just going about our lives. Little things to us can be big things to others.
People often comment when I wear hats, not many people wear hats nowadays but they are so beautiful. I wore a gorgeous wide brimmed cream and black sunhat to class once and it just made people smile. Talk came up of when others last wore hats, memories treasured and shared.
When I was charity-shop shopping last summer we got talking to the lady serving. I showed her the material I had just bought – sea green and bronze taffeta. Oh, she loved it, sore fingers stroking the fabric, back to a time of her first ball when she wore a rose pink taffeta gown she stitched herself. Smiles and excitement re-born in a shared moment, years fading, star-shot reminisces sparkling with laughter in the July air.
Little things to us can be a big thing to others. Shutting ourselves away and insisting on privacy isn’t always the kindest thing.