Between the living room and the kitchen is a narrow, steep staircase leading to the first floor.
At the top of the staircase, the right-hand door takes you to the main bedroom, the left-hand door to the spare bedroom – my creative den and sanctuary (though currently, frustratingly, also a dumping ground for everything that has no home).
But before you turn right or left, at the top of that staircase, on the little square landing, is a small window that looks out over the garden.
In front of the window is one of the three birch trees whose branches reach up, up above the height of the house.
Standing at this window at any given time on any given day, you can find yourself witness to all kinds of magic.
One recent evening, when a great gale blew and the sky was clear and the moon was full, I stood in the darkness on the landing looking out to that great bright orb.
Beyond the bony branches of the birch and her great witches’ brooms*, the moon shone.
The longer I stayed there and the more I looked, the more I felt all the hardened edges of the day within me soften and melt. And after a time I was able to go to Ben and make an imperfect apology for our arguing.
The light of the moon softens us. The dawn chorus softens us. Seeing the first daffodils bloom softens us.
Nature is our home. And in it we come home, to our open hearts and soft edges. Without it we can only become harder, sharper and more brittle. Until we break.
Love and courage,