That Chapel Sunday feeling…
Tucked away on the side of a narrow lane, I came across this on the way home from an outdoor flea market in Malvern. Barely visible, it was covered in a mass of ivy and a tree, which had rooted right in its centre. I imagine the people that came here for Chapel on Sundays.
Growing up in Wales as a young girl, Sundays still had that Sunday feeling. Not just the slow creep of back to school melancholy that peaked around tea-time, but rather the day just felt discernibly different to all the other days of the week.
Looking back now I call those Sundays – Chapel Sundays. The shops were shut and time just felt slower. I remember reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little House on the Prarie and weirdly identifying with her life. Everything was slower, quieter and even for a small girl, oddly contemplative. Slow Living, I guess.
Since becoming a mother I am beginning to notice changes in my attitude and approach to how I want to live, and how I want to nurture my daughters’ childhood.
I have been living in Shropshire for about seven years now. My life until then has been quite transitory, really. I have moved houses, counties and countries many times over, and whilst that has bought experience and adventures, it has also made me feel rootless with an almost obsessive desire to have a home and to feel anchored.
And now? The three of us are about to move into our new home together. I have recently brought a two bedroomed cottage in a small rural town here in Shropshire. Becoming a home owner has given me that sense of security and permanency I have been chasing for too long. This move, and the period of renovation it is currently going through, have given me this time to reflect, to imagine, to plan and create the home I would like us to have and the kind of life I would like for us to live within it.
That has led to me thinking more and more about my own childhood. I have some truly special memories of my own, which when I collect them together, they tend to form images in my mind , rather like a Pinterest of memories.
A lot of these memories are of the place I grew up. The sea, the mountains, the grey of the slate and the purple of the mountain heather. The stone cottages, ruined castles, the rivers and streams, the small caves tucked in the rocks and the stone walls everywhere you look. I carry these all with me, because I feel, in a way, they are me.
And here I am with my daughters beginning their own childhood. Suddenly my own seems so very far away.