I often dream, I dream of finding an old abandoned house somewhere deep in the countryside. Lantana and long grass swaying all around it. Wild rose vines growing over the walls slowly choking the life out of the home.
To live there with the one whom I dearly love. To nurture it and make it a home. Scrub the floorboards and replace the ones that are grim and frail and the ones that got lost. To trim back the wild rose vines to find it was merely protecting what life was left here. Old books, ornate book shelves and shattered glass from picture frames of people who once were.
What happened to them? Who were they? Did they laugh a lot living here? Was this home a safe haven or a prison in paradise? Did they get hurt and run away and took the soul of the place with them?
Me and my lover fighting mosquitoes in the night with mossy nets around our bed. Waking to find possum friends staring at us and killing spiders before they scare us half to death. Naked we lay or in small cotton cloth. sweating from the summer heat happy, satisfied and tired from a hard days work. Then morning comes and he’s lit the fires flames. I make bread and butter and find our honey stash and he boils water and makes coffee for such a sleepy head as I. I wear only beautiful dresses and he wears shorts, white tops and singlets. I can see his strength is growing and his skin is showing depths of the sunshine. His hands have callouses and they are strong and tough; to hold me now and I am also woman enough. Swoon.
We use the timber on the land to rebuild the house strong and new. He gets lots of splinters and dust in his shoes. While he forms the timber frames I pull all the weeds away and find secret treasures of wild flowers and wild strawberries. Be careful of snakes, our dog will chase them away for us. Nobody knows we are here and we pray that travellers won’t cause any fear.
In the afternoons we walk down to the natural springs, wear nothing and bath in the purest water. We are so full and gleeful there’s nothing we need or want anymore. We have a dog, a beautiful Lassie. He’s our protector and friend in the silence.
Our home is almost finished and I can start decorating. I’ve made progress on the garden enough to plant vegetables and fruit trees. Fighting off the wildlife and breathing hope into the leaves.
We’ve found a beautiful old piano at the thrift shop and it’s pure joy. I play and practice in the evening and all our lights are candles and lamps using solar power. Our water is from the rain and the wild rivers flowing. Our meat we grow our own and get it butchered by the sweet man down the road.
Our home is set as an old french country cottage. Plush but simplistic and has flowers in every corner. There’s a small library in the sitting room and our walls are all rendered. Some still showing the bare bones of timber to bring rustic rawness in. A fire place in the sitting room and windows everywhere. I open all the windows and doors to let the summer breeze sweep in.
It’s romantic and it’s tough. Our home is made with love. We have babies and they love to fall asleep on daddy’s lap. No internet, no unfriendly faces. Feed the poor, dress the naked. Invite true fellowship and holiness and feed those who have no nutrients. Let fruit ripen to its fullness. Enjoy the harvests. Make the most of winters sleep.
It’s simple and it’s sweet and we have everything we need. We learn about the world and culture and make fun trips to the city. Our kids grow up and leave the home – we grow old.
Our paradise lives forever in the winds and wildflowers of the summer time. In winter we are in the first light and bird song. We have lived, we have loved and our children come home for Christmas lunch. They treasure us. I look into the eyes of the one I love with all my life, “we’ve done it babe. We’ve won. I love you and know that we will live on even beyond the grave of death. We haven’t lost anything, we’ve only gained everything. My heart strings pull to leave it all behind. But it’s the closest to eternity that we can get to on this Earth. I embrace you and I see you and I’m honoured to have known you. But once we fall asleep, when we open our eyes we will be together in eternity, home on the other side.”
By L.A. MacDonald
©2020 Laura MacDonald Photography