Starting Again

Georgia moves to Cornwall to begin a new life

Svetlana Smith
Woodworkers of the World Unite!!!

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Photo by Jake Hinds on Unsplash

The birds always sing most clearly in the woods just behind the cliff edge. You can wander down the little path, through a gap in the dry-stone wall and you’re lost in another world. Away from the salt winds and cries of the gulls. The bitter grass which clings to the soil, cowering away from the storms, and the twisted dwarf trees, which grow almost parallel to the ground.

Here the trees grow tall, the earth dappled with sunlight which shifts in the breeze as the robins pick fights with each other from rival branches. I find a tree amongst the foxgloves in my favourite glade, lean against it and watch the midges bimbling in the sunbeams: no plan, no direction, back and forth, up and down. Just like me.

When I moved here, I imagined something more romantic. The old shepherd’s cottage on the cliff edge, where I could paint and be inspired by the storms out at sea. The tales of wreckers and the broken remains of the ships which still loom from the sands at low tide, slimy and blackened with age. How could I not produce masterpieces here? How could I not be free from it all? But it clings. I hear his shouts in the wind sometimes. I’ll run outside, hair scraping across my face and flying upwards in the gale, but of course it’s just me, and the odd sheep. There’s always an odd sheep.

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Svetlana Smith
Woodworkers of the World Unite!!!

Editor of The Crystal Palace. Writes short stories, mostly about relationships — between friends, siblings, lovers — but with the odd folk horror for fun.