My first Summer in my new house was a real eye opener.
Having moved in March, I spent most of Spring getting the house in a fit liveable state – it’s been quite the project!
It’s been really exciting to have a physical project to work on, instead of constantly having these vacant thoughts of poetry knocking around my head. When you’ve just moved into what essentially is an empty wooden shell, you tend to have more pressing thoughts on your mind than your next sonnet. Luckily, I still had my caravan to sleep in during the slightly colder March months, however, as the months began to get warmer I began to get more brazen with my stripping of it.
Come Spring, I’d harvested most of the usable wood from my old caravan, repurposing it as cladding for my new home. This was an important step for me, taking me from wandering self-styled gypsy to settled middle-aged man within a few months. For years I’d thought that the only way that I could be happy was to be constantly moving, as if the constant motion of the lumbering caravan was a necessary rhythm that I had to be forever moving to.
Come the Summer months and my home was complete, with only the wheels leaning up against the house as a sign that a caravan was ever there.
The hardest part of adjusting to stationery life was the sudden onset of a routine life. For decades I had tried my very best to keep my life different from one day to the next. The whole purpose of my going out on the road in the first place was to avoid living the kind of dull life that millions of others do, day after day. Wake up, eat, work, eat, sleep. I’d thought that by keeping constantly on the move, meeting new people on a daily basis and essentially living hand-to-mouth, I’d be safe from slipping into the same routine that has trapped so many of my fellow human beings.
Of course, I’d failed to consider how comforting a routine can be, especially to someone who’s spent so much of their life in disarray.
Although I have no pressing engagements from one day to the next, I often find that I rise at the same time each day, usually around 7am. I take my time getting out of bed, peering around my sparse room and thinking about what I’ll do with my day. Then it’s up and at ’em. Out to the chicken coop to feed the birds and give them a run around, allowing me to dive in and grab some eggs for breakfast.
A few minutes later, I’m sat on my porch, tucking into a hearty plate of free-range produce with a glass of orange juice, watching the sun spread his fingers over the horizon. My plot of land here is just big enough to allow me to breathe, without feeling isolated. Just a short walk away the rest of the village slowly starts to wake up and I’m free to think about how I’ll spend the rest of the day.
I could do some more work on the house. I could start prepping the land for crops. Or I could just read a book.