As fearless children, my siblings and I played in the magical garden in front of that strong old house, marvelling with awe at the horseshoe that hung on the old homestead door, its heavy iron signalling that love and luck was cemented firmly within walls so thick they couldn't fail to protect.
Gliding on the makeshift swing on the garden tree that still teases the passing wind, my own children pushed their heels backwards and kicked their souls high into the sky. That gorgeous tree, tall and proud and defensive, is a manifestation of our past and future, and its roots held strong as their playful screams took flight and circled the land and sea, each note a tiny blessing that fell inquisitively on surrounding soil, planting my children's existence in earth that will one day become their home. The tree that is now, and always will be, Tommy's tree.
It is upon these very foundations that we are building another life, to be lived and shared as my family moves forward into new generations of firm footsteps that will build and thrive and merge with the roots already threading and stretching under a soil that smells of sea and a richness that can only be described as a love that centres and secures.
So, to the actual build. Progress is good, pacey and resilient and so far without hesitancy or hinder which is pretty remarkable given the remote location of the homestead. Phase One is now complete. COMPLETE! Hurrah!
The old dwelling has been deconstructed, its stones, packed with memory and the goodwill of those lives already lived, are set aside ready to serve their function as the protective wall that will form a bastion of strength between the foot of the mountain and the new house. The founds have been dug and created, a new road is born from the tracks that have held safe the passing of tractors and trailers and cattle for decades. The stage is set for Phase Two, the building of the timber frame.
This loving home is being created from the inside out, stepping stones built to last both physically and metaphorically.
And so to the pictures, images captured by my brother and his wife on a recent visit to the site.
A few weeks ago this was the road up to the house when the wonderful Art and I visited the site to bid our farewells....
Well, it now looks like this!
And that lovely old dwelling that caressed my shoulders....
Well, it has risen from the ground afresh and it now reaches into the sky like this...
All going to plan the timber frame will be erected at the end of this month. Stay tuned!