The world around the pine tree is quiet on this midwinter morning. A clear sky after endless days of heavy rain. Slowly I set out down the hill, breathing in the fresh air. It’s only a few steps before I notice the Traveller´s-Joy climbing over the hedgerow, it’s long feathers swaying gently in the wind. The forest path leads me further down the hill to the the cemetery, where my mum lies buried underneath the grand Magnolia tree. The dark-brown leaves have gathered on one big heap, blanketing her trunk. New buds appear on the bear branches, covered in a coat of fuzzy silver hairs, protecting them from the cold that might still come. Nearer to the river, I listen to the sparrows calling out to each other. Add some wild lavender and I find myself thinking – isn’t this bliss? I learned that walking is one of the best things to do to find your way back to health. Sometimes I chant, sometimes I just listen to the rhythmn of my footsteps… thump, thump, thump. Every step makes me feel a little bit stronger.
The town is still asleep and the dark sits quietly around us. It’s cosy up here by the candlelight, a small body pressed against me snoring softly. Looking out the window I can see the Huguenot tower lighting up the dark forest. It is the same view that you see from the beautiful oakside, just from a different hill. It’s our first visit to this little dependance by the mystical pine tree. Out there in the garden is an old abandoned hut, enveloped in the dawn. I haven’t been inside yet, let alone to write. I’m not even writing in my art journal, I’m just scribbling on the back of a piece of paper that I found in a drawer. Life with a newborn is funny that way. Some part of me thinks back longingly to the creative dreams I had for this place. But then I remember what Stephen King said in his memoir On Writing: ““(…) put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”