When we moved to the Under Gardener’s Lodge , we thought it would be our forever home, well as forever as things can be.
But life changes and moves on and so must we.
The time has come to say Goodbye to the Lodge, to hand over the key to the new Gatekeepers , the new tenants of the Under Gardener’s Lodge .
We always knew that we were just caretakers, and that at sometime we would have to leave, but we really did not did not think it would be so soon.
But the choice was ours, after the vents of the last few years we decided that the time was right. A new adventures beckons, and a new life calls us. We have answered it.
We have been blessed to have lived at the Under Gardener’s Lodge for over 6 years. We have loved it, cherished it, and it in turns has embraced us. It is a house and a home. It hold memories of those who have lived there before us and some who have died there.
Standing betwix and between the urban and the pastoral. A moment in space where nature can be felt and seen to breathe. There are 64 acres of ‘back garden’, hidden in lain sight, and only 10 minutes away for the centre of one England’s biggest cities.
A space full of history, of wildlife, of children’s laughter and unspoken love. A meeting place.
But the Wyrd changes and so do our lives.
Over the last couple of years, Life has changed dramatically for us. We have had to say some very painful Goodbyes to close family and friends.
The wheel has tuned; the fates have played their part: in a bittersweet way, a new warp has been added, and a new section of weft has begun.
Those threads of life that we all cling too are ready to be woven in new colours for us, in a landscape that my ancestors came from.
So we made the decision that it was time to go, to leave, and begin again. It wasn’t an easy decision, we love the Lodge so much and it holds so many special memories for us, of family, especially those who have now passed., of friends, of love, laughter , sharing food, drinking under the stars, and of course the magic. It has given us and all those who visited us, who spent time there, memories we will cherish, always.
But the time has come to say Goodbye to the Lodge and the ‘other residents’, I will miss them terribly. And of course o ‘our back garden’, where we have spent such wonderful times. Where I spent hours foraging, and using it’s gracious bounty.
So once we knew we were leaving and as the days passed and it came time to leave I walked around each sacred space and said my Goodbyes.
I have thanked the Avenue for her beauty and gracefulness. For the times where She has let me wander beneath her beautiful canopy early in the morning, watching the mist lift in the Autumn sunshine. For letting me catch my breath as the sun has set in the evening. For letting me dance in her shadows in the middle of the night when I have walked beneath her while coming and going. For listening to my laugh when I came out of the mist and shadows to scare poor students who were drunkenly making their way home.
I have thanked her that in her nakedness she has allowed me to bare that which has caused me so much pain, she has listened to my hurt as well as my joy.
I have said goodbye to the crossroads where I have lingered under full moons and those blissful nights at the dark of the moon. Where I have spoken with those who shall not be named, and worked magic with their help. Where I have been touched by the spirit of the land, the Geni Loci, and danced with unseen souls.
I have said goodbye to the Guardian, the knight at the top of the hill, who silently stands guard.
I have walked through the Lumn and said goodbye to those ancient folk who inhabit the roots and the trees. To the foxes, he badger and ‘the old man.’
I have walked to the place where the tine miners meets under the light of the moon, and bade them farewell. We did not speak much; they let me know that this was their territory. Occasionally they came and knocked on the door, in the early hours of the morning; demanding. I listened and learnt to leave them offerings of beer and food, but to never open the door of course.
I have sat on the top of the hill and looked upon the city of my birth and watched the sun set, and the lights of neon twinkle with a life of their own. And been thankful that I was allowed to see it’s raw beauty,
I have whispered goodbyes to the bats who come as the evening does, and dance in front of the porch.
I have bade The Lady farewell and asked for her blessing.
I have walked through each room, and touched the walls and bade farewell to the history, to the love, the laughter, the sound of children, of parties, of passion, of anguish and of tears. I have added my own both joyful and sorrow . I have sat on the stairs and thanked the man who walks them , for allowing us to be part of his home.
I said my farewell to the Lady in the kitchen who watched with great interest as I boiled my concoctions in my silver cauldrons.
I whispered sweet farewells to the ‘ little girls’ who giggle and love to go down and see the twinkling lights, especially at Yule.
We have left this sacred space, this blessed piece of land, to answer the call, that has been sitting patiently at the back of my mind since I was a child. I am blessed to have a man who is not afraid to step into the unknown with me.
Many many years ago, when I was still a child, I dreamt of a red haired woman, walking along a deserted beach. I knew that woman was me. There were many times I thought it just a long for fantasy but the time has come to make that dream come true.
So at the end of August, we handed back the keys with tears in our eyes, but a great hope and much excitement in our hearts.
We packed up the books, the ‘bits and bob’s, we gave away what we could, and loaded a van. And just , as the first harvest were gathered, we headed East, though golden fields, winding lanes, small towns and villages with names given to them by men from the North.
A new home awaited us, a house that sits at the crossroads. It is not as old as the Lodge, but it sits within a landscape that itself has any many tales to tell.
So this blog is going to change; there will be a a new name, a new space, new adventures to be had, and new stories to be written .
I will continue to talk about the seasons of the year, of life and love. I will continue to forage – hopefully I can find new places and new recipes to share with you.
I will be able to share more of the work I do, the magic I weave, and the spirits I work with.
Also I hope to share more of my writing, my short stories etc. To talk about the the books I read and places I visit.
I do hope that you will continue to follow me on this new adventure.
A new beginning.
For those who would like to follow my new adventures my new blog is
I look forward to seeing you there….
© Shullie H Porter 2011 – 2017
** All Images are mine unless free clip art. **
Hail and farewell Under Gardeners Lodge ❤
Have fun in the Sun, and do not let the Moon catch you crying…looking forward to the new blog!
your blog brought tears to my eyes, such sweet memories, but I could not let it go by with out you knowing the couple who have the honour of taking over from you. You see I know them on a personnel level, they are both so very kind and have a love for the out doors, so you will be leaving it in safe hands. Amy and Lee will make sure the lodge is full of love and happiness, with the smells of freshly baked foods, and the love, care and attention they can muster for such a sweet cottage, where one journey ends a new begins for them as well as for the two of you. I wish you well on that new path, and hope your journey id full of adventure and love. So now ir will be a beautiful new beginning for an awesome couple who will do justice to such a lovely lodge, and fill it with happiness, love, togetherness and all the warmth and love the house deserves. They truly are a fab couple, so you have left it in safe hands with Amy & Lee, that I know for a fact. xxx ❤ xxx. Have a beautiful life all of you. xx
A new door is open for you and yours to pass through. We have delighted in your journey so far, and await the next adventure. Please guard your health well; now is not the time to be careless of your well-being. May the Goddess walk with you always,
Oh Shullie, such beautiful words and pictures. Good luck with your new adventure and I hope our paths cross again xx