Querencia; a place from which ones strength is drawn, where on feels at home, the place where you are your most authentic self.
The sea called to me. It flowed through my blood via generations of fishermen and sailors. The sounds of the waves, the salty air made me feel calm and reassured. I could draw strength from the sea, from the knowledge it was ever changing yet stayed familiar.
On stormy days, I would brave a walk on the sandstorm beach and watch the wind and rain whipping the high waves. I would shout into the storm, letting all my angry out.
On calm days, I would take my boat out and just drift. Feeling at home and most like myself. I could be whoever I wanted to be out on the waves but most of the time I could just be me, without judgement, without a care.
Proficient; well advanced in an art, occupation or branch of knowledge.
It had started in his childhood as a focus for his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and his love for Dungeons And Dragons had been born. Now, in his mid-thirties he was a Dungeon Master and sometimes player at the local board games club but he also travelled to events, conventions and D&D weekends to Master there.
He knew all the rules by heart, could add up the dice rolls faster then anyone and was great at reading out the adventures and describing the battles. He was proficient at the hobby but to him D&D was more then that, it was the way of his life.
Nyctophilia; love of darkness or night. Finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.
I loved the night. Staying in my friend’s parent’s Greek ‘castle’, whilst I finished writing my sixth novel, I continued my nocturnal habits.
I got up late, joined my friend and her boyfriend for dinner. Then walked around the castle and down to the beach for the sunset. After, I sat by the open door at my desk, letting the night pour around.
Embracing the darkness helped write the horrors within of my novel and peace made me type faster.
The night spoke to me and as I listened to those whispers, ideas flowed into me.
Knowing my attacker was locked away in jail meant I could take my nightly walks in peace. I hadn’t realised how fully the event had effected me and how much I had missed being able to take my dogs for a walk without having to look over my shoulder all the time.
I took a deep breath of spring evening air and felt for the first time in a year free from worry. It was like I had my freedom back and I hadn’t even realised that he had taken that as well as my body that night.
Habseligkeiten; things that an adult might find worthless but a child sees as treasure.
Getting the kids away from technology was becoming harder and harder. I looked up ideas for making Sunday walks more interesting and decided a treasure hunt could be good.
I found a wooden box in the attic and also some worthless items I could put inside it; old coins, a small teddy bear, some fake gemstones and some small toys. Then I buried the box in the local woods next to a large pool of water. I made a map and spun a story for the kids; the lost treasure of a prince.
We had the best afternoon and the kids really did think they had found treasure.
Elysian; beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect.
Giuseppe took us high into the mountains, promising ‘spettacolare’ views and he wasn’t wrong! I was worried the poor donkeys would collapse under the weight of the supplies. Giuseppe said ‘they are use to it, signora.’
It was the most perfect spot to paint the mountains. There was a lake below that was so clear and reflective. We spent all day there, it was like being in God’s Eden.
My painting did not do the landscape justice but I’m proud of it all the same. I have sent it you in the late post.
Spring had been getting stronger over the last few days, but today as I walked my foster dogs in the woods, I noticed that it officially had become. The birds were singing as they built their nests, there was green everywhere, broken by bright flowers, the trees looked alive once more and the mud puddles were drying up.
I stopped under a row of trees and looked up at their budding leaves. The sun shone through dappling the ground in small spot lights. I felt a gently, lovely warmth on my face that made me smiled.
The cotton mills of Manchester, England, had once been a chaos of noise, sights and smells. The machines had roared, drowning everything else out and making the workers deaf. Dust and chemicals had rose thickly, settling into workers lungs and slowly suffocating them. Accidents and deaths were a daily occurrence. Thus, was the price the poor paid to try and survive.
Now, the great mills that had been the body of Manchester were silent. They stood rotting or demolished, an empty tomb in memory of those poor souls who had worked themselves to death.
My English village has a strange legend. There’s a field with a small pathway running by it called High Noon Lane. Back in the 1800’s, an American cowboy arrived looking for a money lender that had stiffed him. It’s said they meet in that field at twelve PM and shot each other dead. The area was then named after that event.
As children it was believable and we would reenact the dual. As an adult, the legend stuck with me and I liked to think it was true, though there was no historical proof.