Before our move to Harris and before I had even met Chris I travelled down to London to stay with my old friend Tom. I had applied for a Fine art course and I travelled down to explore whether or not I wanted to be there. I did. It was an overflowing treasure trove of colour and possibility. It was where I wanted to be and I was luckily granted a place, to which a handful of weeks later I luckily declined. On that trip I brought a small necklace, its pendant no bigger than my finger nail and its chain broken and lost many moons ago. I can quite vividly remember picking it up, lumbered with an A3 portfolio and hot in the winter heat of the shops. Tightly clutched it in case I should somehow lose it amongst the confusion. You see, I’d been shown an identical medallion only weeks before in a pub and I had been overwhelmed with love for the small pale oval that sat on this woman’s finger. She’d found it in some junk shop aboard and thought it rather special. It was. A small pearly drop of treasure amongst the warmth and rowdiness of an ale scented room. As one of the busiest cities in the world moved around me, standing still, hanging like a single dew drop on a spiders thread was my very own little bit of treasure. She has, over the course of countless moves been lost, but never the less always showing up in the smallest corner of some forgotten coat or glistening in the depths of the carpet as my eyes nonchalantly followed the sun. Once again, clasped safely away in a ring box, I found her, all the way in the Outer Hebrides.The temperature has dropped over the course of the week and the smell of peat has once again filled the house as we lit the burner in an effort to bay the chill. The day we took Shug out for his first walk was no exception and the word blustery is probably the politest way to describe it. It was 35 knots out at sea and the ferries were on immediate warning to be cancelled, and so, being the people we are, we decided that ‘The beach!’ was in fact the best and only place for our walk to commence. As the rain held off, with hats, coats, scarfs, kids and the dog we all bundled into the car and travelled along to Horgabost. As I wrapped Noah’s small body against mine, the wind, in all her might blew each grain of sand along the horizon like a messy game of chess. I constantly remind myself when on the beach to ‘look up Lucy’, for I am obsessed with what’s beneath my feet. This worlds natural treasures, that the ocean in all her ferocity spits back for us to find before they are once again engulfed. The wind and sand danced together and you could tell as huge mountains of seaweed lay on the tide line matching those in the distance that it was rough out at sea. The sand was heavily embedded with shells and sea potato’s, whilst ribbons of seaweed rippled in the sand like shallow water hit by a breeze. It was such a special time for us, chris wore his Neilly Beag hat made by Clare @cottonflock that I had made for him as a gift to start our travels up. The wind beat against our faces and Noah’s small face nuzzled into my chest as his cheeks became red with the elements. The wind ran through Bea’s hair brushing every strand so I didn’t have to and she ran along side Shug as her delighted squeals became engulfed by the crashing waves. If you ever need to remember your treasures a trip to the waters edge – wherever you are – will do that for you.Bea is an avid collector, a treasure hunter, collecting small rocks and shells whenever, wherever we go. Our house slowly but surely is filling up with them and somewhere lurking between them is a future. ‘She loves her rubbish doesn’t?!’ said a lady entering her cottage after walking behind us up the main street in Tarbert. Her first word was ‘Treasurrre’ as she smoothed a small cream shell between her fingers, with widened eyes and pure wonder by the sound that echoed around her ears. Its such a wonderful thing isn’t it. Treasure. Different for so many people but craved by all in some form or another. I read an interview recently, with a man of whom for some reason or another – I’ve forgotten – spent his life speaking with those who were dying. ‘You know it never ceases to surprise me what people’s answers are when I ask them what they will miss. It always the simplest of things. The scent of a freshly cut lemon or the wind in their hair. The things we have now that we can all treasure’. ‘You can’t take it with you’ my mum used to say and so I didn’t. On moving here worldly treasures and items were sold or left behind and in their place smooth pebbles, funny bits of wood and handfuls of sand falling out of shoes and pockets has taken its place. Though I still have the first thing chris ever gave me,a small humble, unassuming pine cone. Somewhat beaten by small curious fingers and the moons of many moves – though just as precious as the dark winter night he handed it to me – a real treasure.I know where she gets it from though and I don’t blame her. There’s nothing better on this earth than building collections and hunting for treasures to nurture them with. I collected things as a child – stickers, stamps, small stones in a rainbow of colours, interesting beads and buttons of all shapes and sizes. If it was interesting I collected it and arranged it with more creativity than my growing fingers could cope with. I love and have always loved charity shops for that reason. In fact some of my earliest child hood memories with my gran are that of charity shopping or as I call it – treasure hunting. In New Zealand they call them Op shops – opportunity shops – and I love that! They are filled with opportunities for treasure – whatever that may be to you. One day I felt a particular yearning to go treasure hunting. It is usually chris that heads to Stonorway – taking the children with him. Giving me a little solitude for a handful of hours and so exploring it has been a little on the late side for me. Exploring the charity shops was pure heaven, Chris exclaimed it was like the ‘good old days’, as we found treasures for next to nothing. I found small wooden bowls and items for Bea’s play kitchen. A crochet blanket for the living room, various dressing up pieces, a colourful cardigan and a toast rack made out of the seven dwarfs because who doesn’t need one of those! I felt restored as we headed home to clearer skies and treasure waiting to be unloaded from the boot.This week has shown my first pangs of homesickness to which my gran wisely replied ‘No shame in feeling homesick at all, in fact its a good thing. Shows the love that binds us all together’. With eight children all scattered around this globe from America to Vietnam I thought I should probably take her word on the matter as gospel. I feel very lucky that the blog has connected me to so many people all over the world. We’ve even had the excitement of receiving a parcel from a reader in New Zealand and it was only recently that we received a parcel from a little closer to home. A birthday gift for Bea and a small beautifully written note from which fell £5 fluttering towards my feet. As I read its words, my heart filled with warmth as Rob expressed his admiration for the blog and how the £5 was in fact for myself to buy some chocolate with. I was so touched by Robs letter for reasons beyond the obvious and when he left this earth only a handful of days ago I was still wondering as to why his note had spoken to me. For you see, we must all share our treasures. Whether they be material, financial or otherwise. We must blow them into the wind like a child taking a huge breath against a seeded dandelion head. We must spread our treasures far and wide so that they plant and grow elsewhere. Share them far, and share them wide for no one on this earth ever became poor by giving. I thought of all my own treasures, from the tiny blue dew drop that hangs from my neck to the arms of my children that wrap around it as we dance to the beat on our living room floor. ‘See the world in a grain of sand’ and I do. I have that treasure and as the sand tumbled out from my coat pocket one grey afternoon, I vowed I’d never let it go. As chris, cupping my shoulders in his hard working hands spoke ‘I am your best friend Lucy. I will always be your best friend’ and I knew he was. For the richest gift this earth has ever given me is my husband and we’ll always find the treasure together.
To Rob 1951 – 2018. Who’s heart will always remain full of treasure.
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