The holiday is over. This glorious time of drifting, playing, pottering, snoozing, swimming, walking, cooking, eating and standing still in wonder, has come to an end.

Last night I caught a special light on the hill: slanting highlights and long shadows, which matched my mood exactly: a mix of sadness and gratitude.

There’s something so poignant about that moment, when a house that has been filled with love and laughter, suddenly empties itself out. The walls feel further apart somehow, and the ceiling higher. The silence vibrates with what has been.

This morning, with the family gone and rain gently falling, I tidied up some more and paused to gather the relics of Mira’s stream adventures: a feather, a stalk of bunny grass, and an unknown dune grass. Here they are, holding the sweet memories of witnessing a little one bonding with nature, and with this place: a bond that I hope will be strengthened with every passing year.