« It’s your year, » said Geoff. The restoration of the barn has begun: An ambitious project given the size of the building.
Last June, I declared myself retired to be able to devote myself to it. In view of the current national madness, letting myself be carried by a big and exiting project feels like wisdom….
Last August we started with the stone terrace with builder Rob.
10 years before, we had taken down the big 1960’s cow shed adjoining the barn and kept only its concrete floor. And ever since then this area had been waiting. Brambles, blackthorns and wild cherry trees had had a ball. The donkeys enjoyed a tasty bite or two on their way back from walks, and I often dreamed about the when and the how and the maybe one day?
The terrace is on several levels. On the lowest one, the large windows of a living room invite the gold of the setting sun. On the middle level, in front of the future kitchen’s door, a round pond for our small fishes where the water filtered by reeds from two other small ponds flows peacefully between the stones…
And higher again, beyond the pond and a few meters away from our little road, another wall awaits a truckload of earth for a tree, some bushes, some bulbs …
The dream of our barn renovated …. Make it into a place of peace, of sharing: Knitting evenings with friends and neighbours, sewing tuition, music, dance, yoga, exchanges of plant cuttings and laughter, lots of it… there is no shortage of ideas nor enthusiasm here.
And the donkeys! Let’s not forget the donkeys! Walking in the woods behind Mazerac is such a treat.
The last walk with mum, Nicole, Catherine, the cousins and the donkeys in the woods goes back a long while. It was the time of the boxwood moths, these butterflies so destructive that ravaged the area and far beyond, remember: the sadness of all these boxwood bushes and trees completely eaten up by their hungry caterpillars. Walking in the forest that day, all the ancestral boxwood narrow paths were filled with silver threads in their thousands barring our way, carrying their tirelessly hungry passengers from one side of the paths to the other. It was unreal, nightmarish. Even the donkeys said yuck! Barely a few weeks later, these same boxwoods trees stripped of their leaves had become skeletons.
We came out of the woods covered from head to toe with silky sticky threads and their caterpillars… Yak!
I am betting on my morning cold showers Wim Hof style so that the energy so necessary for this project remains available to me.
I am also relying on meditating. I have just discovered it. My concentration is so fleeting though, my head wanders far, very far, very often, very quickly. Bring it back, accompany each breath as it comes in, travels down to my belly and then comes back up before the next one and then start again in all consciousness. Easy to say! My right knee is complaining, my right hip too. I have to face it: that suppleness I have always enjoyed and taken for granted has slipped away silently. Is it old age? A little osteoarthritis, or just a bit of stiffness…
I’ll talk to Pierre.