Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Tree Knows Everything


For so very many months, even years, as FL’s health deteriorated, I was making plans to leave the farm at the first possible opportunity.  My plans kept me going.  I held onto the idea of a future that was not bound to him to keep myself sane, to give myself hope that I would not collapse without him there.  It had not ever occurred to me that the farm would not even be mine to sell until probate is confirmed, which at the earliest will be 6 months after his death.  But I was ready to go, to run away into the sunset.

Then he died and I planted the tree at the top of the hill, marking the spot where his ashes lie.  And now I am not sure I can go.  I talk to the tree every day.  The tree has started to look like FL.  I know that sounds crazy.  The Tree Knows Everything.

This past weekend it really struck home that I am free to make my own choices and that I could actually choose to stay where I am.  I could stay where I am and have the necessary repairs done to the house and get some chickens and have a proper vegetable garden… and make it mine?
Realistically, I know the house is too big for me and I don’t need all those acres of land… but at 6am on a sunny spring morning, walking the dog across the fields?  It feels strangely like home.  Even though when FL was here it wasn’t.  It was the house where he and his first wife raised their children:  it was their house.  Their history seeped from the walls.
Did I actually have to lose him to exorcise her ghost as well?


I had so much free time this weekend.  It was not a holiday here, so I was at work on Friday and Monday.  But on Saturday I got on a train and visited my mother for the day.  On Sunday, I was invited by the neighbours to join them all for an Easter egg hunt and roast dinner.  It was the first time I had ever been in their house, even though it is just a hundred yards away from my front door.  The last time I was in that building (1980?) it was full of cows!



And even though I spent all that time out of the house, I still had so much time to myself in it:  I cut out the fabric to sew a shirt;  I knitted;  I did some spinning;  I did the housework;  I watched a film on dvd;  I watched podcasts;  I did some thinking and made some plans. 
Now that FL has gone, I have all the time in the world and... I don’t need to escape.
Bizarre.
 
 

30 comments:

  1. I am glad you and Hero are comfortable there at this time. A grieving heart and mind are a mystery. Love the colour choices for your cardigan. Hugs.

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  2. Illness creates panic but it couldn't have been easy living at the farm under the circumstances. You and FL created your own memories of the farm and that must help the peace you are recognising now. You are still welcome in Yorkshire!! K xXx

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    1. Good to hear! I will definitely be back in Yorkshire at some point in the future :)

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  3. I think your post contains much wisdom as to what is right for you. One major upheaval at a time is quite enough to be going on with and it is bound to trigger volatility. In your own time you will find the right thing to do. (But why shouldn't you stay? The farm is in such a beautiful setting and you have the gift of creating interiors that are as beautiful, from the photos you have posted. Mind you rabbit-proof that vegetable garden, though!) Thinking of you often. xx

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    1. Never mind the rabbits - it's the deer that eat everything!
      :)

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  4. I've always heard to stay put at least a year after a major life change like what you've just been through. After the year is over you will have a clearer picture of what is right for you. My best friend lost her husband many years ago in a Navy flying accident. She had a small child and a part time job and the house they bought together but no relatives living in California. She decided to stay in the house and make her life there. Now, 30 years later she's still living there with the man she married 25 years ago and they've made it their own - an artistic showpiece and a family home as he came with 3 more sons! I remember having many discussions with her in the early years about going or staying and now she is happy that she stayed.

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    1. Thanks for that perspective. If only there was public transport, I would not worry so much about being stranded in the middle of nowhere!

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  5. I admire your sense of calm. I admire your strength. This is your home and now it is your choice as to what you should or could do. Although grief is still very fresh, it seems as if you have an innate sense of allowing time to guide you. Your blog gives me hope in this muddled world, thank you.

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    1. Thank you for those kind words :)

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  6. It is hard when a place is steeped in history. But I too have heard it is wise not to make big decisions when one has suffered a major loss. You can choose to stay there. The tree is there. Bennachie is there. Yes it's a lot of land but you can rent some out and keep income coming in. And it seems to be a peaceful beautiful place. Hugs Roo!

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  7. Take your time ... there is no hurry to get a decision.
    I love the colours of your new cardigan, so peaceful.

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  8. there's a lot to sitting back and taking stock. Sounds like a really lovely weekend! x

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  9. My Mum is in this position of should she stay, should she go? about the house she is living in. At 80 & not very mobile I feel she should stay put as I think moving as well as losing Dad would be too much (she also has bad depression). Dad will have been gone a year in June so we'll see how she feels after then.

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    1. I hope your mum gets through it OK. I am fortunate to still be relatively young...

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  10. Your knitting is beautiful - such wonderful colours.
    Hello Hero! Hello tree.

    I concur with m'learned friends above. No hasty decisions is a wise thing to do. All will become clear with time. And until then, am so glad you don't feel like escaping now. Yes, you can choose. A very, very good thing.
    Peace x

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  11. Just go with it - no sudden decisions - times il reveal what is right for you.

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  12. You sound as if you are doing well. This is delight to hear! I know you are hurting and that escape seemed the only logical choice, but isn't grand to find that you don't have to? Be kind to yourself and remember that only you know when it is time to move on, no one can --or should -- make that choice.

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  14. There have been many times, in the last 9 years, that I have wanted to run away. Start over in a new town, new house, etc. But, when it comes right down to it, I think what I really want to run away from is Tim's myeloma and all the stress. The fact is, it would obviously come with us, no matter where we lived. I agree with others, who've said no big changes right away. You've had a huge loss. Losing your home and all that's familiar right now, I believe, would add hardship at this time. Like you said, it's time to be at peace. Selling your home and moving is a very stressful process.

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  15. Tincture of time, Roo. Hopeful wishes for your future.

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  16. The heart had its reasons. I think you're right, only now is it really your own place, and that changes everything in unexpected ways. Wow. Isn't life full of surprises.

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  18. You can choose your home and future direction and that's a good thing to know.

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