Here I am, scanning the huge beach, searching, looking for the house. For her.
It’s late summer, coming to the end of summer and the sun is just about to start descending, going down behind the big sea, so calm out on the horizon, but big waves still out front, white foam on top of the grey blue, surfers in the water, dogs running on the beach.
I can see a couple of barbecues happening in the dunes. There’s a chill just in the air now, after a hot day. That smell of autumn approaching.
Then I see it – up to the left, on top of the cliffs. A chalet style house and – as if I have binoculars - I now see the detail.
The full glass doors that surround the first floor of the building, all pulled back, so the house is completely open.
The wooden verandah that circles it – and all the little outdoor candles that flicker upon that.
I can see the table outside set for dinner, glasses of wine, and I’m sure … I’m certain I can smell cooking and I catch a waft of kaffir lime.
THERE you are.
You did it. I did it. WE did it.
And then I see you, coming outside, hair tied up, jeans and a grey jumper.
Again, of course. My whole life I’ve worn blue jeans and grey tops – why would I change just because I’m nearing 80 years old? I like that I look kind of the same.
Ohhhhh we did do it.
You are fitter looking than I am now, and somehow a bit smaller, but also sure, confident, happy. Calm looking.
I’m coming, hold on. Wait.
I just need to run across the big beach and climb the cliff steps and then I’ll be there, actually with you.
I want to see you.
Your hair is silver now and your face lined and you look content. I walk around your house with its sides open to the sea, just as you’ve always wanted.
I see your big table in the warm kitchen that looks right over the beach and all your cooking things.
Look! You still have my favourite pan.
And I’m in your bedroom with its skylight, your white cat sleeping on the bed in a pile of soft grey and cream cashmere blankets.
And look again! All my pictures are on the walls. That print I bought that a friend made. That cross stitch my niece made for me. That card I had framed as I loved it so much.
All here with you.
I peek into your office where you write your best-selling books and create your work and talk to people. That wall full of photos of people and your travels, and of your little house on stilts, a little house on stilts by the sea in Thailand, where some years ago you used to spend several months a year.
You still travel, although you have to take it a little easier these days.
You have met so many people, talked to so many, helped so many with finding their own passions and through your passion for Thai food and living a healthy, happy, fulfilled life.
I am SO PROUD.
I know it wasn’t easy to get here. Of course, I know my own history to the point where I am now - and I’m so new to having realised what I want to create in my life.
I sometimes wonder what I learnt in these forty odd years before now, but I know inside me somewhere deep why they were needed - and I know what I’ve learnt and that’s how I know we will do this.
I don’t know what happens next on this journey between here and you, where the twists and turns will take me, what will fill me with joy and excitement - and what heartache there will be and what more lessons I learn.
But as the sun goes down and your candles flicker and the sea quietens, and the cat stretches and I hear soft laughing and talking and the chink of glasses … I see you are happy and full of peace.
Still with new goals to achieve and things to create and people to love … I see you.
I am committed to you having this, being this, being you.
I commit to you that I WILL keep putting one foot in front of the other in the years yet to travel for you to be here, like this - and not living some other life. I will get you here.
We will. We did it.
This letter to my future self was originally written for and published during summer 2016 as part of the 100 Letters of Love project created by Ruth Ridgeway.
I was so inspired by her idea and these letters that my own came to me straight away and is one of my favourite things I've written.