All you can’t leave behind

For various reasons I’ve found myself talking about me a lot the last week or so. OK, I concede I talk about myself a lot generally but usually that is more habit than actually being asked! The last couple of weeks have meant introducing myself a fair few times – at my friend’s Book Club while in Northern Ireland, at a job interview this week and while meeting the co-ordinator for the phone helpline for a local mental health and wellbeing charity that Davies and I have signed up to be volunteers for.

So I’ve found myself answering the ‘How did you end up on Rum?’, ‘What is Home Education all about?’, ‘What jobs have you done before?’ and ‘How are you settling in?’ questions a fair few times in various different circumstance. The way I may have approached the answers has varied but in essence it’s been the same replies. I’ve covered most of those areas here on this blog before save for the ‘how are you settling in?’ one. I have a collaborative post with the others for our usual bad, good, learnt type format about how we are finding it here in this next adventure planned but for now on what is our two month anniversary of arriving here in this house you will have to make do with my musings.

The title of this post is all you can’t leave behind because it echoes the essence of my answer to that question about how we have settled in, which is that so far this feels like all of the best bits of what we loved about life, with some of the tougher bits removed and more opportunities available. So what could we not leave behind? The elements of my life that I most loved were the freedom to choose what to do with my time and the luxury of mostly only doing things I loved. I love being with my family, exercising my creative muscles with arts, crafts, music and cooking. I love being in nature and encountering wildlife. I love light, laughter, family and friends. I love learning and adventure and people. I love new challenges and new experiences and discovering something new every day.

So far I’m ticking all of those boxes. There are buzzards flying overhead daily here. We get woodpeckers on our bird table. There are seals in the loch we can walk to and watch. Last night I saw my first red deer from the house, today we watched a hind in the woodland just outside. I was woken at dawn by a tawny owl calling from the tree just outside our bedroom window. Our house has windows on every side flooding the rooms with light, the views are amazing filled with endless skies, hills in the background, oak trees bursting with life, woodlands carpeted with bluebells and primroses. My wildlife, nature, sunshine and light quotas are more than matched.

I have space for my craft materials, currently there is no market for things I can make but I have a new home to make my own and I am on my second blanket to adorn the sofa. My ukulele has a stand and the radio is always playing bringing me new songs to be inspired to learn or trigger new tunes and lyrics to write my own. I have a bath to linger and dream in, free for my mind to wander and come up with new ways to be creative.

People are everywhere! New faces all the time. Just this week I have been for a job interview – which I got ! More on that soon, Davies and I have signed up as volunteers. We went to the library where the librarian remembered us from when we joined up weeks ago, the re-use shop where we bought new glasses in our second week here to buy a small table and were remembered again from our last visit. To our landlords to collect clean laundry for our cleaning job where we chatted about our holiday. Two sets of friends have visited just this week. We are putting down roots, making our place, building our lives.

There are things about Rum that I miss. Our livestock, putting my hands in the soil and tending crops, my shed filled with things I made, my friends, my hill.

Looking forward though and finding the ways to bring with me what I can’t leave behind, or as much of them as I can.

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