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Arriving at Elan Valley...


I long to reach myself
but I touch an invisible glass wall
made of broken pieces
I can’t connect with me
I’m losing the ability to name what is real for me
I have forgotten to notice birdsong
I can hear the song of every individual bird
 While I’m living in Elan Valley

Andy was driving from Leamington to Elan Valley with me. I had car sickness because of too much excitement. I wanted to talk nonstop but I knew I was repeating myself. This excitement is too much for me to handle. For the first time in my life, I will be able to live in a cottage by myself in the middle of nowhere in Wales. We were not only driving to Elan Valley, but we were also driving into my dream. A dream for which I had waited so long…

The weather is very pleasing. All the clouds in the sky were making art shows and celebrating my journey. Blue, white, grey, they were following us and changing their shape… The wind there, there to blow us gently along… And the sun joined my happiness with her playful light.

I wasn’t able to think. I wasn’t able to explain my feelings. On our way to Elan Valley, Pınar called me and said to me “I’m talking to a child who is very excited. How old are you Meltem?'' I answered instinctively, “Five years old.” I really felt I was just five years old, a mischievous, happy, excited child. That was the moment I realised how much I’d lost of myself. Actually, that’s not quite true, the last couple of years I’d already realised that, over and over again.
We were meant to arrive at Elan Valley at around two o’clock. During the journey there we got hungry but I hate being late, so we made a decision to eat our lunch in the Elan Valley Visitor Centre before we met Beth.

The Visitor Centre was permanently closed. But a small container there serves coffee and sandwiches. We ate bacon sandwiches. I have always loved bacon and eggs even when I lived in Turkey. I cooked it often but the bacon sandwich was new for me and it’s really delicious. I wasn’t really hungry though. I went to the toilet. We were already in Elan Valley and I had fainted because of my excitement but still, I wasn't able to calm down. I didn’t have any clue why my feelings were so exaggerated. This exaggeration and melodrama are not usual for me.

When I feel excited it becomes very hard for me to speak English. My mouth and my brain don’t cooperate. I can’t recall names and I can’t remember faces, either. I felt a big relief when I saw and easily recognised Beth. We first went to the Visitor Centre where we were joined by two rangers, and then we all went together to my new home. I was so busy admiring the view over the cottage, where hundreds of trees are all around me, with the hills and the river in the distance. When we arrived, I couldn’t believe my luck at living in such a lovely, cosy cottage which is always my dream. I’ve got to challenge everything while I’m living here. But challenge it from an attitude of openness, not from an attitude of stubbornness. And I challenge it all.

I couldn’t concentrate on listening to all the important information about the cottage. I was only focused on controlling myself and my emotions. All I wanted to do was dance, sing, and run around the cottage but I reigned in my inner child, with a big effort. Thank God, Andy was with me... He was aware of my emotional state so he listened well and learned everything beforehand.
I had my key now. I will stay here for the next two months. Sometimes I will be alone and sometimes I will have a quest. This cottage would be my home. Not a holiday cottage just for staying… As a reasonable adult, Andy fired the Rayburn and wood stone burner while I was bringing my stuff from the car. I emerged to redesign this cottage. I have to rearrange the environment to suit my own needs, otherwise, I feel unsafe and uncomfortable...

After Andy had kept the fire hot he brought wood into the living room. The cottage was clean but not by Turkish style… After all the wood brought into the living room, we had to hoover… We hoovered every room, we cleaned the dust from the windows, the light switches, the floors, the chairs, the table...   After cleaning thoroughly, I put my table cloth on the table… cushions and a blanket on the sofa… a rug on the floor… another small cushion for a chair… my pictures up on the wall and fairy lights hanging on the walls and window, the fairy lights always make me feel happy and relaxed…

We ate dinner at around ten o’clock…  We finished everything around two o’clock in the morning. The living room and kitchen got warm but upstairs was not warm enough and to have an electric blanket was a welcome privilege. Thank you so much Filiz for this first night comfort…

If I had been alone, I would never have been able to finish everything to my satisfaction in one night. I can’t handle being in cold places or cold water. If the water gets so cold when I wash my hands I start crying…  It was my heart skin. If the sea is so cold then I can’t swim... When I woke up in the middle of the night my nose was cold. But I didn’t bother about it and I slept again. For a problematic sleeper, I slept like a baby. Normally when everything was new, I would struggle, and it wouldn’t be this easy for me but here it just was. When I woke up my eyes were painful and itching but I didn’t panic because it was a very happy morning for me. I was sure I would be able to handle my eye condition while I live here…
I want to meet the emptiness inside me. Here I can’t run away;  I can’t turn on the television, I can’t lose myself in social media, I can’t watch films, I can’t search what is going on in Turkey, I can’t seek distraction. Here I come home to myself. I observe myself without considering anyone else.

I’m returning to nature. 
Sent the crowds away…
 I will go up to the mountains,
 silently commune with trees,
birds, animals,  river... 
with clouds 
and sky 
and stars...
 Hopefully, the words will drop, 
the thoughts will drop,
 and I will see,
 I will make contact with reality. 
Through my heart skin...








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