17 October 09 Saturday on the Edge A few weeks ago I promised our eldest resident that we would have a meal for her and Simon on the last Saturday that he was living here. And here we are, arrived at the Saturday. So as duly agreed Mo went to collect her for lunch and we all sat down in Shorehouse for the meal. It is still awesome to us that the house can accommodate visitors; we have also have a woman from Leicester here for a fortnight. So five folk sat down to lunch. Four of those people who seven months ago had never met and had no idea that they would be eating a meal with virtual strangers. Food is a great way of bringing people to the same table, of cutting across the divide and allowing others to share in our moment, passing the food, serving for others, asking for utensils, listening to others thoughts about ideas, watching to see that peopleâ€™s needs are met. I am grateful in retrospect that my family used to eat together, we were not encouraged to eat away from the table and we did all have to learn some sort of table manners and understanding of social skills, add to that we began to learn about people as well. Mo has started, before his trip off to Kirkwall for the operation, on more pallet fences. Our visitor started painting them and Mo has continued with the work. These ones are to protect the willow trees nearest to the waters edge and to also make another path that goes around the outside of the walled garden. The willows got far more burnt around the leaves than the ones that were protected on the other side. I doubt that there are many spare pallets on the island now, we seem to have taken the ones that were available, we are, hopefully, aiding the community with the recycling of them. I have put some more pictures on the web site of the new fences. http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/home Add to the fences, Mo has also decided, the light is just about to go here, to make some adjustments to the roof of the house, we have had a leak over one of the windows, Mo feels that the idea of mixing up a batch of cement, having dug out the loose old stuff, as well as making sure it is entirely clear of any debris is what is needed right now, and so he is as I write, perched on the ladder, at the side of the house, making good the leaking flagstones with new pointing. This man makes me smile, he definitely has a way of working that is totally different to anyone else I know. He seems to take great delight in working in slightly impossible environments, with the elements working against him. Maybe that is what makes him a good geologist. I know he is trying hard to do all the bits and pieces that need doing before he is a little more than constrained for a while. All the islanders now know of the operation and there are watchers for his wellbeing th on duty. I am going off to England for two weeks from the 26 October and already there is a contingency of people who have committed to keeping an eye out for him, and on this island that means he will not be able to do much without one of the nurses getting to know about it, if one of the locals is concerned that he might be overdoing things.
Simon moves on Tuesday, he is all excited and enthusiastic about the move, add to this he has bought a new mobile phone, and a second hand car, which he collects on Tuesday, truly his life seems to be working well for him here. The islanders have taken to him and for a relatively young man he has found a place where he has value, worth and is able to contribute in a meaningful way to the life of the community. But perhaps more than that, as he sees it, he is a place of peace and harmony. Harmony, balance, being at ease with myself and the world around me, these are the qualities that I sought through many different mediums for years, some of you who know me well will know the crazy places that these thoughts took me, searching and yearning for what, I had no idea! And yet so desperate to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And surprisingly enough it was not to found in anyone else, nor in a job, house or status, it first of all had to be found it me, that then allowed me to move to a place as remote as Papa Westray and not feel in any way disgruntled or out of tune with myself. No desire to run to the shops for a fix, to have a new job, different car, more money or whatever, just such a sense of being where I am supposed to be and a great feeling of contentment to be in this place and space. The seals were playing this morning, chasing each other around the bay, diving and playing tag. Birds are all around, the days are getting shorter and there is a sense of winter being just around the corner in my mind. I like the winter, I like the cold wind, coming into the house and watching the flames of the coal fire, having an opportunity to sit and catch up with the books I want to read, crocheting the bedspreads I have long promised, baking bread, writing letters, maybe even getting out the sewing machine and starting one of the quilts that I enjoy making, or even making some clothes in the hippy style which I prefer. All is well, the sky is red, the house cosy, the feeling of wellbeing is prominent. So from the couple on the edge Love and blessings Dee and Mo