As I write, the sun is slowly rising. It has been so long since I have sat still to watch a full sunrise and it is truly a beautiful sight to behold. My favourite way to watch it out here is in the winter. Padding through the quiet house, careful not to wake anyone. Pouring myself a cup of something warm, stoking the fire and pulling a quilt over my knees as I curl up by the window. I watch as the sky turns from star-studded ink to violet, pale orange to soft (sometimes bright) pink. The fog rolls in over the frosty paddocks as the first light breaches those familiar hills across the valley and I watch for our resident fox, sauntering home after a night of doing what foxes do. As the light spills across the land, sometimes I will walk outside, feeling the bitter chill under my bare feet as the lightest shadow of warmth grazes my cheek. These are the times I feel most alive, as though I am the only person on earth, that the sun rises just for me and in that small moment I am not afraid of the terrible loneliness of that scenario.
Late last year I wrote that I felt it was time for a change, that it might be time to leave this little cottage, that I was almost ready for those things. I'm still not ready but we are leaving, just not on our own terms and it is breaking my heart. I know it is just a house and we will make a home of wherever we might soon rest our heads. Every time I look at the roses, returning for another flourishing bloom, I remind myself that they were never mine to begin with, that I will wave goodbye to them too when we drive out the gate one final time. I remind myself that a new home means a new garden (hopefully) and even though I will no longer have the beauty and solitude of this beloved valley, I will always have a handful of earth to sow some seeds and a window to sit by and knit these words together. And that is not nothing.
From where I sit right now, the sun will rise over those hills another 25 times and I will turn my face to feel the warmth of every last one.