I don't know if I am looking too hard for hope, but I am starting to see them. Not directly, but little things that make my heart lift for a moment. The bank of grass opposite my little library on the hill is pinpricked with spikes of yellow as crocuses start to lift their heads, unseasonably early. I bought home a bunch of daffodils on my half day today. I adore having daffodils in the house, but I try and wait until February. On the walk home, a robin flitted down and sat on the path ahead of me, and then flicked his tail and hopped up onto the fence. He kept just a few steps in front of me all down the road. It was as though he was leading me home. When I got home, I discovered an amazon parcel had arrived for me. I had some tokens for Christmas, and I have spent them on some books on....afternoon tea, what else?! I now have Afternoon Tea by Jane Pettigrew to read, and Tea and Cake by Emma Block. There will be a long hot bath later, and the slow savouring of new books. I have just enjoyed a cup of coffee and a cheese scone, something savoury as a punctuation between my more usual sweet scone and tea. The washing machine is humming in the kitchen as a load of washing spins. It is bitingly cold outside, and I feel glad to be inside. I have a candle flickering, and although it isn't enough to keep me warm, it adds warmth to my heart. In the kitchen sink is soaking my utterly wonderful find in a charity shop - a Le Creuset round lidded casserole dish in volcanic orange. I have wanted to start a Le Creuset collection for years, but even the 'seconds' shop is beyond my purse. Tonight I am cooking a shepherd's pie in it, using left over mashed potato from last nights dinner, that I am going to make into a bubble and squeak topping with some cabbage and leek.
And then of course, there are my friends here. Your comments are so kind, and so appreciated, and I shall try not to lean on you too much, but it does help, so thank you.
I still find I wake at night with my heart pounding, and I realise it has been like this for over a year now, over a year since we first heard the news that there would be opening hours cut and a staff review. It is a long time to live with uncertainty. I am trying to trust that soon I will find something, soon I can start to move beyond the constant incessant noise in the background of 'what will I do, what will I do?'. I want to think about crafting and cooking and reading and just the beauty of daily life.
But for now, it is time to fill the kettle, light another candle, and thank you all for being here.