The last month has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for us. A 57 acre site nearby went on the market, due for auction at the end of April. It was a beautiful site, with woods, pasture and stunning views. We resonated strongly with the land and really thought we had found an amazing site to base our education and demonstration centre. After looking for land for so many years it was exciting to think we had found a place. We only had a matter of weeks between seeing the land and the auction, but we got advice about setting up a community benefit society, selling shares and putting the land in trust. It seemed like it was going to happen. But cashflow, legal matters, timing and all started to slow us down and the goal seemed to move further away. There was a seed of doubt – was this the right land for us? I opened a book ‘nine ways to move around a boulder’ and the next chapter was ‘knowing when not to’ – was this a case of knowing when not to go for it, rather than doing our up most to push past the hurdles we were being presented with?
Just at this time some friends of friends who have land, got in contact and wanted to sell us 10 acres of it. It already has certain infrastructure such as polytunnel, track, a spring, garden, deer fencing and 9000 trees planted. It seemed like the universe was pointing us in a different direction. A facebook quote resonated with where we were at – “As I look back in my life, I realise that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”
While I was willing to put all my energy and commitment into buying the other piece of land, I am pleased that I didn’t have to. Pleased that I had energy to spare to enjoy my family over the Easter holidays. This route seems more in line with the principles of small and slow solutions and minimum effort, maximum effect. Now we are able to move forward at our rhythm, and we are at least a year or two ahead of where we would be had we just brought a bare field. As well as the physical infrastructure we are also inheriting social capital, with people already connected to the land. Of course the work is just beginning, but for now we are enjoying pottering in the garden and having picnics in the sunshine, although yesterday when we were there, it was more like picnic in the polytunnel sheltering from the rain. For now we have got off the rollercoaster and are cruising forward.