"And this was the house", pointed J, finger stretched on to a roofless ruin half hidden by the woods.
Me and Sam looked at each other and let a silent but expressive wow come out of our lips. This was it, we felt it. We had found our piece of land, or maybe it had found us.
Looking for a place to grow roots in has been a bumpy road. The energy of the beginning started draining away after a few weeks full of land visits and a couple deceptions. We started considering going away just to come back again in a year or two with fuller pockets. At a certain point the tension was so sharp (remember that Full Snow Moon? Yeah) that we just took some days off and changed environment. We used this period to re-settle our priorities: building a house for our family, providing J a safe, healthy environment in contact with other children and be in a place that allows us to both work and grow a garden on the same place were on top of the list. And so we returned.
By a hint of chance, I went visit I and B, a family living around. They suggested me talking to T, up in the village, whose husband, M, might know something. M led me to J, whose wife might know something. Are you following me? This is how things go in small friendly environments. In the end, it was J himself who remembered something owned by someone living far away.
So it was this J, a farmer and hunter who, the next day, showed us a wild, powerful yet gentle-feeling piece of land. It has been abandoned for a generation, but its previous owners used to spend summer in there. Nestled in an east-facing slope, this terrain has a water mine in need of some cleaning, wild-grown terraces, different Quercus, a ruin and a large mimosa forest on the back. And a boulder, a giant boulder with a breathtaking view right next to the house.
We were the first people being shown this hidden gem and the owner hadn't made a price, so we went forward and made our offer. Our small offer, but everything we could afford, counting with family support. Two days later, we had an answer: "She said yes". Even more, she said we can already move in.
As we arrived home, I rushed towards my journal looking for a certain list we had made last autumn. This list was somewhat of a ramble, a thing we called the Dreamland List, and that contains about 30 assets we agreed that we would like our future land to have. Things like having a big boulder, having a dynamic topography, being at walking distance from friends, etc. The top item was having a feeling. I don't know exactly how surprised I was upon finding out that all of the items were checked. I think that, ever since the first glance, we felt there was something deeply magical about this place.
So what are the next steps? Hand opening a road to the land, clearing a patch on the forest to install the caravan our friend has lent us (maybe you remember it) and move in to this provisory home while we start clearing the land and drawing plans. Then, by the end of June, if the owner doesn't pull off, we should sign the papers. Only after that we will feel confident enough to start working in the house, rebuilding the ruin with natural materials.
We are so excited! It's a new chapter, a fresh adventure about to start to the three of us.
Thank you to everyone who has sent wishes, good vibes and contributions. It is really working out.
Oh, the title of this post: I don't think this land was ever lost. It was us.