Yule Cottage, the place of my birth.
On rare occasions like this I tend to seek refuge in the shelter of better days, where I carefully count my treasured memories and check them for signs of wear. Yesterday, it was becoming clear to me that I was drifting unpleasantly on a sea of nostalgia. No mal de mer for me, but I was nursing a spot of homesickness. A mild pining for the place of my birth. There had been no obvious trigger, I just needed to revisit a simple, settled and secure marker in a terrain that's been shaped by a flood of unpredictability.
Yule Cottage, today, courtesy of Google Maps
It doesn't take long to cover the twenty or so miles that lay between me and the village where I first drew breath. Years ago, I unconsciously planted my flags of reminder. They still fluttered in the lanes and cast shadows on the flint. And, as I passed familiar cottages, sympathetic new-builds, all the way to the Church of the Blessed Mary and beyond the overgrown coppice my grandfather worked, the proverbial weight of uncertainty began to lift. This section of my past was still here...and somehow, I knew it wouldn't let me down.
Regular visitors will know that I have often waxed lyrical about Cornwall, and how it still remains very special to me. But I think what I'm beginning to realise is, there can be only one true place where my body and soul feel perfectly at ease. It's a force of attraction that's impossible for me to deny, an invisible, unbreakable tie that holds me fast as the world changes around and about. It may not be where I live, but it's home all the same.