WHEN my mum and dad made the decision to move to the outskirts of town both me and my sister were not existing yet. They chose a house where there was open space and access to the countryside. Which is a house, which turned out to be our home. There was so much time when we were growing up, time to find the outside space and to play. We spent days and months over the years covered head to toe in mud.
THE ‘common’as it was called was a piece of wild open space. It housed a ditch that as children we called ‘dead-mans ditch’. It was a place of myth and legend but that when I revisited as an adult, was remarkably less scary. In summer we but nests out of the stinging nettles and I loved the fact that the flowering ones didn’t hurt you. We built fortresses and invaded each other in the vain attempt to conquer our land.
OUR local shop sold sweets by the half penny. (And yes I know I sound old when I say that!!) Something my 14 year old finds particularly funny. A bag of sweets was all that was needed to survive our play. We spent hours building dens and finding joy in being outside – but always at this time of year, we would let the common return to nature. Opting in our eyes, to allow the return to nature in the hope of cultivating a better den for next year.
THE shop and the common are still there but the life is quite different. Our family home remains a stalwart for the future but with changes. My dad’s presence is only there as a pair of well loved and heavily worn wellies, while my mum continues to nurture the garden from when he was no longer able. At some point life changes and moves on. But it will always be home.