Habituation is a process of change. It reminds me of those temples (where are they? Indonesia?) gradually overtaken by forest; so that Buddha- heads and stone temples are interwoven and wrapped about with the cautious, feeling roots of great trees – discerning the crevices, feeling into the doubts and cracks of manmade monuments. The slow establishment of nature creeping up on the establishment of civilisation.
At first living so solitary a life away from my family was like a deep wound in me, a raw crevice in my soul. Sitting today, looking out upon the garden holding its breath in this moody day of February cloud and cold, I realise that a change has taken place and I am losing the will for human society of any kind. I live in the gaps, going as silent as I can about the house, hoping to avoid the people that live here. Sometimes, this feels like home, but more often I feel like a lost ape living among rather nice ruins, a place where grapes and peaches grow, the legacy of former times.
At night, falling asleep, sometimes I place my foot against Badger’s foot, to obtain a transfusion of his soul, and allow a little of his light to mingle with mine. Then I remember who he is, and that we belong to each other. But unless I am touched, I forget. I have the greatest difficulty staying anchored.
Something I like about simplicity and frugality, you know, is that it has so many treats! Today, with a cup of tea at four in the afternoon, I ate the remains of some very delicious chocolate brought by Pollenhonesty to our house. How could I enjoy it so much if I ate chocolate every day? We buy wine very rarely now – it used to be a regular item in Badger’s shopping basket. Last Saturday, on Valentine’s Day, I was able to give him a bottle of the deepest red Merlot. It has been elevated from something as commonplace as bread and milk, to being a delicious luxury; simply by not having it. Today it is cold cold cold. I am cold. My fingers are shrivelled and mauve. Later on I will hear the groans of the central heating coming to life – and what a welcome, lovely sound that will be! Something to look forward to and appreciate. Meanwhile, my bones and joints know it is still winter – and that is a privilege: to watch the grey Quaker lady sitting her silent prayer drawn in deep in the still, iron garden. She is invoking life. Spring is coming.