The First Sleep

May lasted for years, June is over in a week, somehow. I forget the actual date and am too lazy to check it no matter how easy this is, but June is the month in which we finally have a night on the land.

Orange and grey sunset sky
We are spontaneous, which here means poorly prepared. We finish teaching at Okehampton, grab food and extra wine from the Co-op, drive under a sky of orange flame and dark grey crenellations, arrive at the land as the light is dipping, then remember that we should have packed a lamp - but we find a bicycle helmet with a light, and our phones have torch apps.
A tarpaulin is spread upon the dirt in the stable, topped by blankets, an airbed, some duvets.
A feast of quiche and chocolate laid out on the little table. Dog has her food to scoff from a tub. I twist open the cava (thank you, Ian, gift much appreciated) the cork pings off a wall fast enough to escape layers of rope-thick cobwebbing. We drink from plastic wine cups- a toast to the land, a toast to adventures!
Wobble out in the dark for a short walk to hear the foxes yip-yip, feel the ash tree patting us, the grass waist high and bushy as a sasquatch.



We have red wine too, while we mull over practicalities of dreams. A snail with a muddied shell appears on the table, so I put a drop of Merlot down. It stoops to taste, then moves on. Most likely it, being a snail, would have preferred a beer. (A snail ale?)
Dog has a comfy bed made up, though she decides to sleep on the ground.
We choose our bed.
An overhanging elder tree taps the roof all night, an irregular sound that keeps waking me. At 5am Dog also is wide awake. We are damp, we are creaky, we crawl out while Mr snoozes on.
Sunrises over the eastern tree line- over our tiny woods- up through a shimmer of mist. Spider lines are dew strung. Sparkles and shadows decorate the stacks of fence posts, the rolls of wire, the lumps of random polythene we have removed from the hedges so far- the graft is underway, it feels good to view the pile of proof.
I make breakfast in the van kitchen- yawning, tired, glowing.
Later I find a sofa bed frame going free on Facebook marketplace.
[Message the seller, we pick it up the next day, from a fine art gallery on Bodmin Moor, a little adventure in itself of tiny bridges and curve-horned shaggy cows.]
Our next sleepover should be comfier.
We will forget something, indubitably; getting home for a shower will be deeply appreciated, there will be headaches and hiccups aplenty. Will it be enough to quell the magic? This I doubt.

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