I so miss Ravens Reach and the peace it gave me. There has been a void in my life. I did not think it could be filled. Miss Serra tried to help over the summer but I could not accept, nor could I say why.

But it gnawed at me. There were times when I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of Laudanum and New Toulouse, the pioneering in Austral, my work here in general. My Cape Wrath house by the sea has always been my escape. I love the sea. But in these particular times it did not soothe me. I needed Ravens Reach. The woods, the water, the isolation. The mountain too yes, but it was the woods mostly. That was what I needed. If I had a house in the woods, a cottage perhaps…oh well.

In the other world I inhabit —

I suppose I must come to grips with the fact that the “other world” is my main world even though I wish this world to be. If it were not for that other world I would not have the ability to be in this world, so that must be my main. I do see it though I don’t like it.

— As I was saying, in the other world I inhabit, I have a home in the hustle and bustle and an escape by the sea. I am lucky, for sure. But I do not have a place in the woods, nor will I ever. “The woods” is a place I visit. I much enjoy it but I am a tourist, it is not my home.

This has never bothered me. In fact, it had never even crossed my mind until after Ravens Reach was gone. When it disappeared I was quite disappointed even though I did not spend much time there as I have been so busy in my work and explorations in this world. I thought, well at least I’ll save some money, one less place to maintain and all.

But I came to the realization – I need a place in the woods. It was not the quantity of my time in Ravens Reach, it was the quality of it. So simple a concept yet I had never had the time to realize it before. If this world is here for us to do or have what we do not in the other, then I should have a place in the woods.

A friend from another land invited me to explore his woods. They are beautiful. The country is large. I would not have trouble finding a spot. But there is something about Winterfell.

I left Laudanum one day and travelled north, noting the changes I had observed on the maps. I would give the north of Winterfell another look.

When one is exploring there is always adventure, anticipation, excitement, the unknown element…it is wondrous. When one has decided to buy a property and is searching for the right place…it is tedious.

And so it was, tedious. Checking this parcel and that and the other, tedious (beautiful scenery notwithstanding).

And then it happened. I found a perfect spot. In Ebonshire. It is a place where the rivers converge and the view is of the fading sun. Who could pass up this place!

I could. I did. I was still not sure about the expense, about whether I would spend enough time there to justify the cost. I still had not yet fully grasped my need for a home in the woods. I decided to think on it.

I thought for too long. One day I was sitting in my living room in Laudanum looking at the maps. I noticed a new build in Ebonshire. On my plot! I dropped everything and hurried up there. It was true. Someone had beaten me to this perfect spot. There was no other! No other in all this world! Oh woe is me. (One would not know it to see me in public but, when alone, I can be a bit dramatic at times.)

I would not return to the tedium of hunting for the right parcel for I had found it and had let it get away. Had I learned a lesson? I am not even sure there is a lesson here. I chose not to think about it and instead moved on with my life. Forget about a home in the woods. I can still visit.

A few days passed and, as is my habit, I was looking at the maps (an occupational hazard for an explorer). My eye came to “my parcel” in Ebonshire. There was nothing on it! The new owner must be putting up a different build, I thought. I continued looking about the map but came back to “my parcel.” “Damn it,” I said aloud, dropping my maps on the floor. I knew I was going up there for a look and there was no way to talk myself out of it.

When I got there it was sheer joy! The parcel was again available. I know not why and I do not care. I shall grab it up right now! No, wait, think. The whole ball of wax sped through my mind again…the expense, will I spend enough time, etc, etc. I walked ‘round the property, in circles, mumbling to myself as I thought it through. I am a practical man. I am not one to make decisions based on pure emotion but I could come to no conclusion as to what was the right thing to do. “Oh hell,” I said loudly, then sheepishly looked about to see if anyone was near enough to see or hear. I bought the land and paid the meter. There, it was done.

omg, Omg, OmG, OMG! What have I done? I had to think now. It was done but I had to think now. I had to get out of here!

I fled to Cape Wrath, to the sea, to find peace. I walked around in circles again, then sat. I stopped thinking. I just tried to calm down. I changed the radio to something quiet. I made some herbal tea. I had a cookie. The calm came over me. It is a beautiful place up there. It surely is. I must go back there and look at it right now. I put down my tea cup but took the cookie with me.

As I landed back in Ebonshire on what was now, in fact, “my” parcel, all was now well. The calm lasted. The cookie did not.


Mr. Whitfield’s note: Yes, you are right gentle reader. I could have posted, “Hey, I just bought a parcel in Ebonshire,” and be done with it. But what fun would that be?