What comes next

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Where to even begin?

In January, I packed up my mate’s little blue Fiesta and headed north. Far north, through Cumbria to Scotland, through the borders past Glasgow, through the Trossach and Highlands, to the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I spent two months living and volunteering at a forest garden on the Isle of Skye. Because why not. Because my life was portable enough that I could. Because I needed a change and some god damn fresh air and the sea and some trees. Because Em’s apprenticeship which was about to take her far south to Dorset was still in full swing and I wanted an adventure of my own.

Those two months were full-on. A mixture of stillness and speed, crises and calm, the desperate urge to not make decisions and the realisation that life was rolling forwards anyway and I could either step up and participate or stand back and watch. I’ve worked hard at the standing back, but in the past ten days in which so much has happened, stepping up and grabbing hold became the only option.

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The opportunity I was offered was simply too good, too exciting, too filled with adventure and possibility to miss. To live here in the old house, to run the campsite, to build a new life on this magical peninsula, to dig in some roots and discover different ways to grow. I’m back in Manchester now for a few weeks, preparing to move to Skye full-time. Em and I are finishing up the lingering DIY jobs on our little boat, ready to pass her on to a new owner. Packing and sorting our possessions, ready to begin a new life. Calling friends, making dates, making lists. Lying in bed, wide awake, minds racing with ideas about what might be coming next. Our role in the journey of a piece of land whose story we’re only just beginning to learn.

I sat down to write this with a large cup of coffee, thinking it would need to be an essay. Thinking I’d have to describe everything that has happened in the past 10 days, the crises, the significance of the bonfire, the way decisions have been made and the reasons for them. The huge steps towards change and letting go that have been going on around me. The collision of journeys that brought the folks of Rubha Phoil – myself included – to make these decisions and changes, and what it all means. The conversations we’ve had, the honesty, the solutions we’ve found. The incredible amount of hard work that necessarily followed, making me all but AWOL from my computer and my business for the past two weeks.

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All of that will unfold in its own way. My brain is tired, my body is stiff, my heart is happy and filled with anticipation. All I want to write right now is that these changes are happening. That I’m back in Emma’s arms. That our new life begins together and this month’s challenge of wrapping up the existing one is where we’re at. Drinks with good friends, a party, a clearout. A van to call our own! A ritual, I’m sure. A moving on, yet again. There’s so much to say, but today, I don’t have the words to say it.

 

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15 comments

  1. Trine says:

    Wow, Beth, this is exciting news! I’m looking forward to following your journey! And as I was reading this post, I felt the urge to come to Skye and visit you sometime in the future. It would be an amazing adventure!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks Trine! I’ll be running a campsite so there’s always room for visitors. Of course, now I’m dreaming of the Alternative Tarot Festival we could have here… 😀

  2. Melanie says:

    So exciting Beth! I have loved reading about your adventure on Skye and so glad you have decided to stay. Have an absolute blast ending the old and starting the new x

  3. Claire says:

    What can I say, dear Beth, other than I KNEW as soon as I saw this post what it was going to say 😀
    When I posted your belated pressie a few weeks ago, I said to myself, ‘I bet she stays there. I bet this is where she’s meant to be.’
    I am sooooo beyond happy for you!! SO EXCITING!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks Claire! Tee hee, yes, it was kinda obvious when I ‘came just for two months’ that something bigger was going to evolve…I was just so determined not to decide that too early on. It was inevitable…

      Also, your notebook is my Skye Forest Garden notebook! I use it to make weekly lists of things I’m doing to help out on the land 😀

  4. Kim says:

    Yes indeed, exciting! I love watching your journeys, the courage you show in embracing life’s adventures is inspiring. I’m so happy to get to see Skye through your eyes, it’s a place I’ve long wanted to visit.

  5. Kristel says:

    Wow an amazing opportunity which I know you will both embrace with your usual enthusiasm and zest for life. I would love to visit Skye if only to swim in the magical fairy pools. Good luck with your new adventure.

  6. Congratulations Beth! Change is always so inspiring 🙂 and the Isle of Skye? My family was originally from there – and I have never been… yet! Looking forward to your photos. 🙂

  7. Whoo hoo Beth! My partner and son spent the summer wild camping in the Outer Hebrides… this Ostara / Easter we’ll be spending on the Isle of Bute… which is a lot nearer you than anyone down south!! To enlightenment, inspiration, amazing sunsets, extreme weather and warm hearts and fulfilled Souls… Luna xx

    • Beth says:

      Hey Luna!! Great to see you here! I’ve not visited the Outer Hebrides yet but have a *lot* of seafaring and exploring to do. Bute sounds so wonderful too…Em and I were actually headed there when we accidentally went to Skye (it was a stormy night and the ferries were cancelled, so we headed north). Hope you have loads of fun and all the sunsets of your dreams 😀

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