dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

Day Ten: Going home

Home! After a 365 mile solo drive (if you don’t count Jesus) from the borders of Scotland down through England to Cambridge, then a sharp left turn till you almost hit the far eastern coast. Home. Whew.

And glad.

Sometimes, to paraphrase T.S.Eliot, it is necessary to take a wander back through the past and check it out and discover what it means now. And then look at where you are now and discover just how good it is – and recognise it for what it is:┬áin my case, that where I am now is home.

Home means lots of different things to different people. I have a nomadic streak and I love new places and overnight billets – lovely hotels in locations like at Annandale Water. Waking up to beauty fills me with delight.

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View from my balcony at Annandale Water this morning

But home: that is something deeper, richer. Long ago, I put my roots down in the rich soil of Somerset, letting them go down deep – which made the pulling up when my husband died in 1994 and I had to move the more painful. I haven’t had the courage to ‘settle’ properly anywhere since then.

But driving into Westmoreland this morning, past the sign that said ‘Welcome to England’, I realised I have lived in England for 38 years. More than half my life. More than anywhere else. England is home, and Suffolk, and the town where I live, and the street, and the little house on that street with my cat waiting for me and the friend who was feeding her for me, and my church this evening, and … This all constitutes home.

And I’m glad. And grateful. And it’s time to let my little roots unfurl and go down into the welcoming soil of Suffolk. And, to mix the metaphor, it’s time for some nesting – nice things for the house to make it more ‘home’. Nice things for the garden… maybe some herbs… salads, tomatoes… food!

Home. Welcome home. At last.

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Day Twenty-four: Last day but one

283 miles further down the road after a 5-hour drive. I left Tayport in pleasantly mild weather and all went well till I doubted the sat nav. (Yes, I know: there’s a definite theme appearing!) Thankfully, my mistake only added 11 miles to my route and got me to Bothwell in time for my morning coffee break (with blueberry muffin).

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On the road again and Gretna for lunch – sadly outside the village so no sign of the famous blacksmith’s where runaway lovers from England could be married over the anvil.

The next stage of the journey was horrid: pouring rain and blinding spray for mile after mile. A case of fierce concentration and a steady hand on the wheel. Not to mention Divine protection!

But the sun came out again and I was able to enjoy the rolling hills of the Border country and the north of England before encountering roadworks. I’d hit roadworks coming up the east coast route so was determined to take the west coast route on the way home in hopes of avoiding roadworks – but it was not to be. Summertime and the roadworks are in full force!

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In truth it only slowed the journey a bit and was not too bad. So here I am now, safe and sound, at Wetherby, the last stop before home

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having an attempt at afternoon tea. ‘It’s afternoon tea, Jim, but not as we know it.’

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