Friday, August 02, 2013

The Hebden Pilgrimage

I can't remember when I first became fixated on Hebden Bridge as my final resting place, a town to call "home" when I finally find myself alone.
Does everyone have a place like this to dream about?  A mythical life-destination where the housing is unpretentious, where the people are welcoming, where "alternative" is the norm?
For a long time I thought my calling was to "a croft on Skye".  So that's where FL and I went to be married.  His people were from there.  But more and more, the old crofts are being turned into holiday homes rather than places where you might eke out a living from the land and the work of your hands.

Maybe it is a romantic illusion, but I still think I could start again from nothing in Hebden Bridge.
Live a creative life.
The Girl and I met so many kind and friendly people.  Anyone who knows me in real life will be astonished to hear that I struck up conversations with complete strangers everywhere we went.
My notebook is overflowing with character sketches, the beginnings of a hundred stories.
All in the space of three days.
So rather than getting it out of my system, this trip has confirmed what I suspected:  this is the place where I see myself  "five years from now", as the interview answer goes.





 Somewhere to drop anchor.

But not yet.
I am back at the farm now.  I have responsibilities.  I have my darling FL.
We navigated the funeral, the family dissonances and the journeys.
My joke that I should have tied a label to FL's coat:  "Please look after this bear, thank you" was not as absurd as it seemed.  He was literally lost without me, which makes me very very sad.  He told me that there was a point when he stood at the wrong end of a train platform calling for help, because he had run out of energy to get himself back to where he should have been. 
But somehow we both made it home to the farm, safe.
I fear we may be heading into a dark tunnel, but we are travelling together. That's what matters right now.

20 comments:

sewingslowly said...

Oh Roo. I fear you are right about FL - and that makes me so sad, this person who's never met either of you and lives many hundreds of miles away.

But I am so glad for you that your dream of Hebden Bridge is still alive. Keep that bright image in front of you in the dark days that must inevitably pass first.

Helen said...

I too feel so sad for people I have never met, and I don't know what to say in response to these posts. Your image of FL lost and calling for help brings tears to my eyes. So I send you a virtual hug of support.

Cherie said...

My heart goes out to you for the coming days. You are caring so wonderfully for Fl, but you are also taking care of yourself. Both so admirable. I too am thousands of miles away, but I see the beauty of your land through your eyes and photos. The ways you display your knitting is so lovely; I should take up the craft to make that last lacy shawl you showed! Oh, love the haircut also! Hugs to you.

Cherie in Phoenix

KLBBIII said...

I can think of fewer places better to make s fresh start than Hebden Bridge. I hope for you both that it will be a good while before you get there but when you do we locals will make you most welcome!

Maeve said...

Take care of yourselves Roo. You are a lovely person (I only know you from this blog but its obvious). As another person said earlier keep the Hebbden Bridge Image alive to help you on this journey. And keep knitting;-)

wazz said...

Thinking of you both, as I often do x

Emma said...

How hard life can be.
Warm and loving thoughts for both you and your beloved FL.

tea and cake said...

What a beautiful post, Roo. Sad, but hopeful, too. Lots of love to you both xx

blue hands said...

Bless you, Roo and FL. I wish you strength for the journey. x

Jodie said...

Oh Roo...that would have been so hard for you both. I don't even know you but am a faithful reader and wish I could stop in for tea and a hug. Keep Hebden in your thoughts and keep strong for your journey ahead. Enjoy the time you have together. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Myrna said...

It's good to know that answer to five years from now. It helps with the joys and sorrows of now. HUGS.

Scruffybadger said...

Big hugs Roo. I'm not as good as everyone else as knowing what to write, but sending warmth and strength up to you all xx

colleen said...

It's good that you have a place in mind that will offer sanctuary. All tough journeys need that, I think, though hopefully there will be spaces with light to help you through.

The Coffee Lady said...

I know Hebden Bridge a bit; my writing teacher used to live there. I think you're right. I think it's lovely.

Twelfthknit said...

Sending out a huge wave of compassion- that must've been a terrible experience

ravelledsleeve said...

Thinking of both of you, and sending love and good wishes.

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

Thinking of you as always and sending strength , energy and hope. While we have hope we re never lost Roo xxxx

Linda C said...

Hebden Bridge sounds such a lovely sanctuary. I visited in the Cotswalkd a few years ago and there was one town where I could have happily stayed. I am glad you have such a place to think of.

It is so scary to see someone you love be weak and helpless, be it parent or lover. I will be thinking of you both everyday.

LindaC

I am glad that you had the time with your daughter and visiting your special place.

Gail said...

Tears in my eyes also, like so many others. And yet I'm inspired by your strength, your willingness to face the uncertain future head on.

acharmofmagpies said...

Your words frequently move me, perhaps this post most than any. Like many others, I haven't met you or yours but my affection and care are genuine. Wishing you strength and hope.