I got home from work tonight at 9pm. After hanging the closed sign at 5.30, I stayed late to change the window display and get organised for an upcoming charity event. I tidied the shop, swapping products and colours about until I was satisfied that it looked the best it could. I worked through some admin so it wouldn't be there when I go in tomorrow. I enjoyed the solitude and silence of my space.
Working late is a rare occurrence these days. After 7 years, finally I have got the balance right. I am organised at ordering and production, I have staff to take the pressure off manufacture and I no longer work weekends. I make a good living from my business and I have time to garden, to kayak, to watch the birds.
But at this stage of my life, I am so ready to start a new chapter. I like to see life as chapters. Good ones, slow ones, memorable characters, exotic settings. The Lewis chapter has been one of the very best. Great characters. Awesome locations.
I sometimes read books or watch old movies and feel a strange nostalgia for a time I was not part of. Perhaps it is a longing to be so perfectly in a moment that it truly becomes 'yours'. To realise its importance or relevance whilst still being within it. I suppose that is truly living in the Now. There are many amazing memories I will treasure.
In the early days of 'By Rosie in the Hebrides' I shared the premises (and forged a great friendship) with Catherine Ann. She had a boutique in what became my workroom. I can picture the scene as though looking at a photograph; it is one of those rare and glorious, hot summer days in Town. We are sitting outside on the sill of my shop window (because it is slightly wider than the other window and therefore lends itself better to basking). We are wearing big dark sunglasses and drinking ice-cold milkshakes through a straw, watching the passing traffic. Watching them watch us.
Were these the golden years? Looking back, I already know it was so. This was my time. Queen of my Castle on a small Island in the North Atlantic. Who could have written that?
In 3 short months, it will be bye-bye By Rosie. I am heading away on a year long honeymoon, and beyond that, no plans. It is a thrilling concept. Clearing through the various accumulated 'treasures' has begun, and the inevitable lump in my throat. The soft hand of sadness lingers on my shoulder for just a moment. All the hard work and love poured in. So many connections made. The sub-plots of my Hebridean life in 1000 memories. The tiny stitched details of my craft, which have mattered so much to me.
There are no worries or fears for the future, only excitement at the endless possibilities. So many new chapters to write and ideas to explore. A story that began with Love has come full circle.
When I lock the shop door for the last time, I won’t look back too soon. The star of this story is only turning the page.