What does it look like?

The ground undulates gently downwards towards the valley. No sharp angles or harsh corners. Wild grass grows in clumps along a narrow grass path cut just wide enough for us to walk in single file. The path is wending, the meadow flowers beginning to push their heads out from between stalks but not ready to open yet. The wind is keen, blowing across the land, still with a cold sting but with the suggestion of warmth and growth, new life carried in the air.

Behind me the house sits looking sideways, the wood still looking freshly cut. It has not yet forgotten the trees from which it came. It retains the soft circles and the wood looks scarred, not weathered yet. It will weather over the years to come, just as we will. We will settle together on this patch of earth.

Inside, the first thing I find is that it is cosy. The warm wood comes in from the outside too so that the sense of where we are lingers alongside the furnishings of our indoor life. The fire in the centre of the house welcomes me towards it, the spiral staircase draws my eyes upwards reinforcing the sense of the outdoors being close at hand, the ceiling high letting in some of the sky.

Climbing the stairs I look down and see the space in which a family eats, talks, plays, thinks, cooks, creates, Lives. Upstairs is smaller, the bedrooms small pieces of privacy and seclusion nestled into the eaves. A balcony stretches along the length of the house so that from each bedroom there is access to another piece of outside.

From here we can see the land, the road at the far end, the cars queuing and lorries chugging. Just far enough away that we do not need to feel part of that press. The coppice is beginning to grow but will take a couple more years to become established. There is a lot to do; it will take years to grow this vision. We will be gone before some of these trees will reach maturity. We will leave it better than it was before we came.

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