Updated: Sep 22, 2021
It’s been a week since I came back from Glasgow, having spent a week selling soaps in the John Lewis in Buchanan Galleries. It’s taken a while to get back into routine. The work room – no, the whole house, if I’m truthful, had been rearranged to accommodate my preparations for taking Shepherds Cottage Soaps to John Lewis, and I’d left small piles of tools, materials and equipment to mark my progress, like hiker’s cairns on a particularly strenuous mountain trail.
I felt buoyant coming home, but also strangely empty. It was done: challenge accepted, risen to and achieved. Now what? I wasn’t quite ready to be finished with it; I needed time to feel success, but after weeks of only feeling the breathless terror of the to do list it felt unusual not to have anything pressing.
So I followed the small piles around the house, retracing my steps; breaking them up, putting
everything away. I filled two bin bags as I went; suddenly everything was too cluttered, I couldn’t remember why I’d been keeping things, or why I’d been storing them here, in this way. I circled around from the car, (where I’d upended a bag looking for money to pay for a celebratory glass of wine on completing the drive home) through the porch; the living room; the dining room: considering, sorting, straightening, replacing. I went to a lamb sale, the library, lunch. I picked up and put away. Until I was in the work room, standing in front of an empty table, looking out the window.
It seemed bigger, airy, light. I felt bigger, airy, full of light. That empty feeling was not a loss of something, it was an expansion of space to be filled with greater things.
Then I sat down and made a list.