This is Wyndham Hill, Yeovil. I was born only a few hundred yards away, and I felt a close connection with it throughout my childhood. As representing ‘nature’ or the countryside, it felt safe when I was little and reassuring later on. It hasn’t changed much, and I am still reassured.
Above is the house I grew up in – the grey one. It was a pharmacy when I lived there, though it ceased to be that in 1973, three years after I left home at the age of 21. Its value as a retail site and community resource had long been weakened by a movement of people away from the old town and the building of a ring road within the modern town rather than around it. I don’t know about the later history of the house that brought about its dereliction. Clearly the house doesn’t now evoke the sense of safety and reassurance that it once did.
By a happy chance I read some these words in a novel today, a few hours after taking the pictures. “Home is a feeling. The memory of a warm bed. The voice of your parents calling you to breakfast. Home isn’t a roof or four walls. It’s not a place at all. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to find again once you’ve been gone too long. “*
I could end by recollecting my own inquiry insights about ‘at-homeness in the present moment ‘. But in the moment – this one – I need to find room, within that very at-homeness, for heartache and sadness about the fate of my childhood home.
* Sebastien de Castell Spellslinger 6: Crownbreaker Hot Key Books, 2019