|Courtesy of shyree.deviantart.com|
‘With every day that passes, I care a bit less about how I look.’I said this to my sister a few days into our annual extended family holiday in Wales, recognising in my growing relaxation about appearances the whisper of an ancient call, a train whistle or a wolf howl in the distance, the rustle of grasses or the rush of wind through foliage, urging me to come outside.
I always start these holidays with civilised intentions.I take outfits for a variety of occasions and an array of products and electrical goods to tame my hair. We visit relatives on our first full day: always a best summer dress occasion with delicious welsh cakes eaten among ornaments and catch-up chat. After that, my wardrobe choices begin to break free. T-shirts and shorts seem adequate for most things, and family don’t notice if they are the same ones I wore yesterday. My hair reverts to the style I had when I was three, with additional roughness caused by cliff-top walks and sea water. By the time I made the comment to my sister, I had rediscovered the joys of sea swimming, rock scrambling and windswept mountain-tops, and had managed to injure both feet through heedless barefoot adventuring. I burst out of the cottage every day as soon as I woke up, thirsty for the morning smell of the air, and spent days gazing at red kites, buzzards and a proper rural fox in all their hunting glory. Towards the end of the week I recognised the return of the wild girl who lies stifled and half-forgotten inside me.
|That's me in the middle, a day or so in, already not caring much|