“it doesn’t take long,” I say to Steve, “before you go entirely feral.”
I am sitting on the causeway of Horrid Hill with a chunk of (vegan warning) Spam on the point of my knife, holding the rope tethering our boat Magwitch to the shore. I am windswept, salt worn, fingernails black from wood fired. The people walking past gog at me.
A women passing wearing vibrant lipstick calls, “I love boating, what a great life.”
You wouldn’t look so glamorous if you were boating, I think but she is right, I love this life too.
After days of hauling anchors and dragging boats across shingle I feel fitter and more energetic than I have in months. Wood and water are precious resources on the island and I enjoy the discipline of living within my means. I am hushed to sleep by the sound of the tide and awoken by oystercatchers. I feel I am back where I belong, maybe where, tucked inside us, we all belong, working to the rhythms of nature.
I may never have looked worse sitting there on the causeway, hair windswept, face scrubbed clean but I have rarely cared less what other people think. I am not selfy ready but I take one anyway to record this moment in which true contentment lays.