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 Рand recognise it for what it is: in 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-three: On the road again

I love my sat nav. In cities it is an absolute boon. So this morning it took me safely through Aberdeen to Bridge of Don for coffee with yet another lovely friend I haven’t seen for (whoops!) we think 47 years! But we recognised each other and it was great to catch up on the years with laughter and happy memories. And then it guided me through Aberdeen and out onto the road to Dundee.

A perfectly timed stop for a sandwich (and a chunky KitKat) gave me the energy for the last talk of the tour.

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In full flow!

Once more organised by my friend and fellow member of the Association of Christian Writers, Wendy Jones, at the Priory, I had an attentive and responsive audience drawn from the City Church Dundee.

Having sold out of copies of my novel, When the Boats Come Home, in Wick, we needed to call on Mark and Iain of the CLC Bookshop in Dundee for further supplies – which didn’t last long!

And so, a couple of hours later, I was drinking tea at my friends’ home in Tayport – the last talk of the tour over and the road for Halesworth and home beckoning. It’s been good. It’s been tiring. Time tomorrow maybe to reflect on lessons learnt. For next time?

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