I will, follow him.

I am often looked upon with sheer amazement when I tell people of our frequent relocation’s. ‘So you just go?!’ They protest. ‘Just like that?’ My answer always simply ‘Yes’. In fact I am always a little amazed in return at how few people would be willing to follow their partners just because they are simply asked. ‘But what will you do when you get there?!’ ‘Do you know whats its like?’ ‘What if you don’t like it?’. ‘Then I don’t’ I say. Paired with a nonchalant and ever so slightly indignant shrug of the shoulders. I do often see a look of disbelief in peoples eyes. ‘It cant be that simple’ their eyes shine out, and for many I understand its not. Much more comfortable to sit facing the view that its not I’ve come to understand. Humans you see, are terrible at letting go of things. Possessions, feelings, people, grudges. You name it, we generally throw it on the horse and cart it round with us. Until too heavy to bare, we get ever slower and increasingly baffled as to why. To be confronted with myself where upon I have learnt to open my palms and let things go like falling sand. Moving the way I do requires beyond the leap of the geographical and more immensely towards faith. But I often think of that catchy song in the ever popular Sister Act. ‘I will follow him, follow him where ever he may go!’. I may have to take a more theatrical approach when informing people of my gypsy lifestyle and simply break into song instead. It may convey the sentiment much quicker.img_20191116_140449img_20191110_092527

My eyes flickered as I began to make sense of the breaking cry. One of the children. Increasing now to a yelling sob through the dark and dark it was as I fumbled for a light that wouldn’t turn on. Power cut. ‘I’m coming! I’m here, I’m here’. In comparison to Harris whereupon power cuts leave you sitting in the dark for hours, eventually contemplating whether this has is in fact your new norm. The Scottish island of Islay has short, though more frequent power cuts, in which you are only plunged into inky treacle for forty minutes, maybe an hour or so. Shuffling across the landing, hail spat at the windows and the wind raged outside. Not unlike an angry drunk I thought, refusing to accept last orders has been and gone.img_20191215_092109The wind on Islay is also mighty different to what I had grown accustomed to on Harris. For on Harris the wind never left me. Either weathering my face to a ruddy glow or beating down my back, she had grown to be a strange life source and friend. A constant companion swirling round a mountainous cauldron. Dying down to moaning myrtle or rising up to a screeching beast. She was a torment. Like Jane Eyre’s mad woman in the attic she was ever present. The wind on Islay however, does leave me, and maybe my friend it is better that way. She is however by far more raged on her return. If I thought Harris would prepare me in good stead for other hebridean islands I was foolishly wrong. For the wind slashes along the flat land of Islay like burning fire. A caged wife, escaped. Running free with a single flame.img_20191110_092625img_20191113_112421

You are, I’m sure, as a great length of time has past wondering why we left Harris. But, reader, the truth is I cant answer those questions. Not because I don’t want to but because our answers are somewhat blurred. I couldn’t tell you when the mountains around me started to enclose. When the tears began to drip and the ache for Chris away for lengthy hours became something physical. I began to stare out of the windows onto the hills and sternly point out to myself that many would give limbs to change places with me. Until one day a still small voice replied ‘That doesn’t mean you cut off your own dear girl, it is time for a leap of faith’. Back out into the alien and unfamiliar, across the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. At last to Islay. At last, with relief,  back to the Hebrides.img_20191122_085333

It all sounds wildly adventurous. And I suppose, when I am grey and older I will recall it through such a tint and relay it to have been just so. But honestly, its tiring. Is unsettling, it is hard work moving from place to place. I have learnt to need very little and take only basics. With only a small five door car, one gangling Labrador, two toddlers and whatever cat(s) we seem to have amassed at the time I have quickly learnt there’s little space for luxuries. Travelling cross country with your knees to your chin gets old pretty quick, I can tell you. But I have learnt that stuff, is just that, stuff. It cannot replace or fulfil human need or longing. Not truly. It does and will eventually just take up your time and money. And sooner than you think it will break or simply be older than the version your neighbour buys the following day. It is stuff, just that. So I have let things go, some freely and some with a firmer reluctant grasp. But honestly, I couldn’t tell you what most of it was looking back. Instead my minds hands have filled with stormy memories, ultramarine skies, heavy set coos and indignant sheep. The sound and feel of the wind and a descending black ink over the world that no matter how I describe it to those back home. I know they will never truly visualise. That is what I have learnt to pack. That is what I yearn to keep. img_20191215_095339So now I sit typing in the remote village of Port Charlotte, Islay. Heavily pregnant and counting down into the final hours. With its wild winds and faintly painted mornings. The village of Port Charlotte is similar to Cornwall in some respects but hebridean, without doubt, to the core in most. Its rows of white washed cottages and tubs of what I assume will be brightly blotted geraniums come summer stack tightly together against winters frozen bite. I have once again navigated my way round a new and unfamiliar place. There is always so much to do when relocating. People to ring. Ring back. Forms to fill and random items to get hold of. Reader I can honestly tell you that its all very ordinary. But it is in the ordinary tiny mosaic fragments of our lives, the mundane ins and outs of everyday existence that you will find great achievement. It is often that I turn to the pages of Ruth during these times of great upheaval and find simple but nourishing comfort. Having moved three times during this pregnancy alone is enough said. The book of Ruth is insignificant in size and quite easily would go amiss with the gentlest touch of a licked finger. Nothing very much happens within its paragraphs. Ruth leaves her family and follows her mother in law to a new village. Purely because she loves her and that is all she did. Follow.img_20191215_094839 In this world of vast technological advancement it is often those that lead who are portrayed as the courageous. This is of course undeniable in many stories throughout history. Its what adolescents strive for, to be unique. Set apart. Influencing and leading. Some of us grow up and never loose it, certainly it is pushed upon us to stand out, dream big or go home. I have come to learn that societies view has a certain repressive quality when it comes to following those we love with humility. That to love, honour and obey is old fashioned. To humble ourselves is to pick the short straw. But I don’t think so. Not now. For she did not know it, but Ruth, in the humdrum woven strands of her seemingly ordinary life. Holding no great merit to the outside eye placed herself unknowingly in the direct line of Christ. A young girl following an invisible calling of footprints leading to a shepherd. And that reader is simply it, my answer. I will follow him. Follow him wherever he may go.

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and you God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16

To Ruth, who followed.

Thank you to all of you who have continually followed our journey and supported  the Island Wife blog for the last two years. It is wonderful to be back writing and I hope those who have once again clicked to read have enjoyed the next chapter. Lucy x

37 thoughts on “I will, follow him.

  1. I love this. My husband and I led a military life, both together and apart since we both served and now he is rejoining. In the time we have both been civilians we have moved counties and now we will move to Scotland. We have nearly moved to Norway and were looking for jobs in the Islands – I even took extra qualifications for more ‘in demand’ skills so that we could move anywhere, anytime!
    I’m reading ‘the subtle art of not giving a F..’ at the minute and a lot of what you say chimes with that. Your situation doesn’t define you or your life – it’s what you make of it or do with it! I think that’s what many don’t see. That’s true freedom.
    And you get to appreciate things that matter and more easily discard the things that don’t.
    It’s good to hear from you again. Thank you!

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  2. Oh my, I wondered why I hadn’t seen any updates from you. Good luck in the next phase of your family adventures and looking forward to hearing of the safe arrival of your little one xx

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  3. Oh so great to read your words again. I’ve missed you as I’m sure many have. Congratulations on your soon to be new addition. I wish you and your family all the very best. Much love and happiness to you. xx

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  4. Adapting to a new place, new habits, new language, new food even is tiring and lonely. You are hanging in though and in the end will be stronger. I’m not sure if I am. But he knows you’re backing him all the way. Bless.

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  5. It’s lovely to hear how you are all doing. Islay is beautiful, we took our girls there on holiday many times, beautiful beaches, Keith loves the distilleries ☺️. We are still counting down to our move to Skye, we’ve had the hoose two years and will move in two years time, by then my girls will be sorted in London. I would follow Keith to the ends of the earth, so it’s good we both love Scotland. But now I am slowly going through my stuff, clearing away what isn’t needed so I can either bin it or give it away to someone who needs it more than me. I wish you all the very best with your new arrival and look forward to hearing about your family life on Islay. You have been quite an inspiration, I remember asking you about how you moved your cats, something we will need to do when we go, it seems like so long ago now. I often think of how you are all doing xxx

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  6. Hi Lucy
    I’ve missed your blogs. My you have been busy. I’m exhausted just reading about your antics. Congratulations on your anticipated arrival. You will have your hands even more full then.
    Our daughter gets married in May and I’ve asked your mum to do the flowers. I’m delighted that she has agreed.
    Keep posting and look forward to photos of your new baby
    Love Stella xxx

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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  7. Hi Lucy,
    I was so happy and surprised to see your latest update! I wondered where you had gotten to. You have been a busy family these past few months, and I can understand all of it. My husband and I just made a huge move in our lives as well. After living almost my whole life in one area, my Man wanted to move to a brand new area, where he could be closer to his parents, who are getting older. So that meant I had to leave mine. I thought long and hard and did some soul searching about this big change, and I had to be sure that I could leave the only place I have really known. But I came to the same decision as you did….I would follow him to the ends of the earth! ❤️ We have now been in our new home for 7 weeks and I am loving it! I am keeping in close contact with the people that mean the most to me, and so in this way, I feel content to be in our new home and city. We are the rollong stones and you just never know where our roads or paths will lead us too.

    I can’t wait to hear about your new Babe and your adventures as a family of five…plus fur babies! Happy 2020….keep writing!❤️

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  8. Oh! Lucy,
    I have soooo missed your posts! I think of you often & just thought you were only doing Instagram or whatever & was going to ask Amy on Tuesday how you all are . Lovely another baby on the way! Fabulous.
    Keep the posts coming.
    Xx

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  9. Oh Lucy! You amaze and inspire me. Letting go is my life’s work! I am so sorry that you have left Harris, we never met formally and yet I felt I knew a wee part of you. I stood next to you one day at the Tarbert burger van but you were deep in conversation. You were so dainty and beautiful, you seemed a lovely person. I’m sorry that we did not meet personally. I do hope that you are surviving all this moving around. It’s exhausting. My move to Harris is taking years. I’m exhausted. Working in Cumbria trying to raise money to do what I need to to my home in the bays. You are an amazing woman. Your faith will hold you in its arms. It has for me. A huge hug to you. Keep writing, keep inspiring! Also be kind to yourself each day 😍

    Heather xx

    >

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  10. It’s wonderful to hear all about your life in the Hebrides. You write so beautifully Lucy. Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful 2020. May it be filled with love and happiness. Good luck with your new arrival. I shall look forward to hearing all about your new addition to the family. Sending you love xx

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  11. So good to hear you again Lucy and to hear that you have a new baby on the way. Each time we visit Harris i see your original little blue windowed house as we leave the port and remember the bright eyed lady with her little daughter and all her flowers outside the house.That will always be Lucys house to me.

    Wishing you the very best of health and happiness for 2020 for you and your family. Looking forward to following your story as and when you post. xxx

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  12. Thank you for such a beautiful read. I hadn’t realised you’d left Harris as I had moved myself to South Uist in July. I love that you love your husband and the father of your children enough to follow without resentment and I love your attitude to ‘stuff’. The book of Ruth is one of my favourites it has to be said. Wishing you a safe delivery of your 3rd child and only joy & happiness in your life. God bless you & hugs Flower, Rachel xx

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  13. I thought with all our anxious days of dealing with drought and fires here in Australia that I just hadn’t seen your posts. I’m glad to see you back, very much so, taking my etheric being all the way across the world to a very different life.
    Blessings for your new home and baby xx

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  14. Hello Lucy. So pleased to see your latest post, have followed all your adventures. I hope you will all be very happy in your new location and a new baby! Great things lie ahead! Much love. J. X

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  15. Oh Lucy, somehow I missed this until now. What a lovely and realistic perspective you have on life. The central theme is Christ, that’s how I know no matter where you set your feet, and wellies, you’ll be ok. Your sweet Elizabeth has come now and her precious smile is proof of the happiness you spread no matter where you go. What a wonderful thing to write. It’s freeing. Just like letting go of the stuff, when your words are released in writing they find freedom. They breathe life.

    Continue to write of your adventures, and continue to bravely share the ups with the downs. You and your precious family are inspirational!! Much love and equal blessings, Suzette

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