Despite living in what could easily be considered a Tiny House, in our caravan the one thing we are rich in here on Rum is space. Space on our eight acres to allow our birds to properly free range, our pigs to have massive amounts of room to root up the ground, space to set up as many raised beds, polytunnels, animal houses and fruit cages as we like. Miles and miles of sky above us, no visible neighbours, no need to worry about being too noisy and disturbing people. But the most precious space of all in our lives here is head space. Room to think.
A simple life like ours, where you hands or body is busy getting on with tasks – feeding animals, picking brambles, crafting, chopping firewood, kneading bread, making jam, scything the grass, weeding, watering, sowing or harvesting crops – allows so much time for your mind to drift, to day dream, to wander, to mull over, cogitate and ponder.
It occurred to me this morning, as I was ambling along to work, stopping to take photos on the way that since we have lived here I have heard the other three say more often ‘I’ve been thinking…’ than in all the previous years of living back in our old lives. Back then there was no space in our heads for idle thought, our minds were busy, filled with details, the need to concentrate, remember, focus. Always chasing our tails, mentally ticking off job lists whilst all the while adding new tasks to the bottom of the list, planning ahead to meetings, appointments, shopping lists, kids activities, which petrol station to stop at, what to cook for dinner, which route home to take to avoid the traffic, what needs ironing for tomorrow, is it anyone’s birthday or anniversary or other event requiring a card or phone call… a constant round of pressure, of harried thoughts bouncing off all sides of our brains. Our minds were consumed with the here and now, with details, there was no room for abstract thought, for starring into the middle distance and entertaining mental flights of fantasy.
It’s a different story now. Davies and Scarlett come to me with ‘I’ve been thinking…’ ideas, creative thoughts, inventions, inspiration for adventures, things to learn more about. Ady poses ‘I’ve been thinking…’ cunning plans, different ways to approach things on the croft, building projects. My ‘I’ve been thinking…’ thoughts are arranging hopes and dreams, mentally composing writing I want to commit to paper / screen / blog post. We are more daring, creative, inspired, free…. free your mind and the rest will follow.