The beach here is beautiful at this time of year. Once the sun has gone down it is usually deserted and one can stand in the growing dark beneath the bleached blue and wait for the pale stars. The chill air is clean and sharp against the face. A reminder of other times and other places with the only pain an ache in the heart. Em would have loved it here, perhaps found peace and the chance to pick up the threads…
She would have loved the hospitality as well. Somewhere quiet and warm in exchange for tales. No noise, no pressure, a bit of gentle laughter, and so many books. Knowing there is a place like this makes everything else possible. I wish I had known it sooner.
Even though I am tired, I cannot stop. I carry the weariness, the constant ache, the knowledge that there is no home to which I can return. It is not a burden, but sometimes it hurts – deep and sharp. My war wound.
Here I can ease the pain a little and tell my story. Perhaps one helps with the other. But the story does not finish with the books. I know that now. So there may be more. For now we must be content.
This evening was particularly cold. A smoky sunset leaked pale amber across the horizon. Frost was forming on the stones and the grass as I walked back up from the sluggish waves. The houses of the village looked… comfortable. It was a scene to savour. It isn’t always like this. Sometimes there are ruins. Sometimes nothing but an empty beach. Today was a good day. Of sorts.