It has not been the best summer. Despite the sun being more prevalent than in recent years, despite working less and playing more. I have found it a genuine challenge to meet its rays with a returning smile.
I have found it hard to find the funny.
There are a host of reasons as to why I feel like a smog of sadness has lain like a blanket across my shoulders; a loss of a loved one, a change in a way of life, another illness eating at one of my children.
It feels at times like my usually strong self is starting to buckle, and I reach deep inside, but I can’t quite find what I need to turn this around.
So I have stumbled through the summer, lifting weights when I can, visiting some amazing places. But still the sadness has nibbled at me, taken chunks at time. I grow weary from fighting in, it seems easier to give in and let it consume me piece by piece.
But then three small people attack me with sticky hugs and proclaim undying love for me. Then I feel the blanket shift a little, and some of my old self starts to emerge.
Today I drove those three sticky hug givers to Cornwall. As we edged closer to my spiritual home, I felt the blanket start to shift away from my shoulders. The air felt lighter, my worries less significant. When I saw the sea I felt my face spread into a smile with a memory of someone I loved very much who adored the coast.
The drive took forever, the kids behaved in a way suited to them being trapped in a car for so long. But when we rounded the bend into Trevella Park we all beamed like doped up teenagers.
Our third visit in as many years and we felt like we were coming home. I recongnised the staff, found the wine immediately in the cafe, and the kids tore off to the park.
Trevella is my sanctuary, for three years I have come here to lick my wounds and find a new strength to combat what is ever next coming our way. Three years ago Libby came here fresh from a spica cast, just learning to use her limbs again. Now as she leaps from slide to swing you would never dream she had a hip problem.
I stood tonight, on our patio, wine glass in hand, allowing one self indulgent tear as Molly moved around the park nimbly on crutches. Hoping next year I will be merely remembering the time when she couldn’t walk unaided.
We have ten days in our personal paradise, I put a lot of faith in the cornish air…
I expect to come back recovered, and ready to fight another day.