Every so often I feel a deep yearning for absolute solitude. It is something I had in spades before having children - I spent two entire years traveling the world alone. These days it is somewhat harder to come by. Not wanting to tackle the spring storms on the track, I opted instead for a night away in a storybook cottage in the woods. After an early morning visit to the farmers' market, a massage, breakfast at my favourite cafe, a quick trip past the secondhand shops and some successful bidding at the poultry auction, I was ready to retreat. I read, scribbled in my notebooks, started knitting a singlet for a friend's new baby and sat on the verandah drinking cups of tea in the rocking chair with the pink geraniums nodding at my feet. And when I climbed into bed that night I felt my baby rolling inside me for the first time, arching again my skin in voluptuous waves.
After 24 hours of silence and solitude I was so happy to wave hello to all my boys again when they wandered up to find me in the pine trees. We climbed on board the tractor for a ride around the farm to feed the animals - the hand-reared cattle barreling up beside us to devour armfuls of hay. We ate fish and chips beneath the twinkling lights across the harbour and said goodbye in the happiest of ways to the holidays - waving Grant off when he left for work a short drive down the hill this morning.