As a Hampshire country girl, I am very lucky indeed to live within driving distance of the beautiful village of Chawton. Home to none other than many an aspiring writers literary idol -
Miss Jane Austen
Walking the corridors and rooms of where this world renowned writer once crafted some of the most wonderfully acclaimed romance novels, which are still so highly acknowledged today, I experienced such feelings of awe and inspiration that I am not sure I could fully describe it. But the admiration runs deep.
The house is warm. Loved. And filled with a sense of family. Her writing desk sits ostensibly beside the big bay window overlooking the pretty village, with its ramshackle English character and thatched roofs.
This Cottage was the home to a woman who lived, felt, dreamed and created - and we are still talking about those charming, heartfelt, witty and eye opening creations to this day.
Her life and inked finger prints can be imagined throughout the house she called home. The Cottage she loved and that inspired her to complete some of the wonderful classics we still adore and talk about. This house was her last home before her untimely death - her sister's emotional letter of those final moments of her passing, hangs upon the hallway walls for all to read.
It made me think, as I soaked in the ambiance of all things Georgian and Austen related, that time really is precious, and life spent making time for what really matters to you can never be taken for granted, nor wasted. If you're quiet enough and just take a moment to feel and absorb what is around you, time does indeed have a way of standing still just when you need a little reflection. It's evident how much you can sense this when looking into the lives of those who lived so many, many years before us. Their mark on the world, no matter how tiny, was there. Their place in the world is still very much present, for all to see. They were real. They were here. They mattered. No matter if it was the servant's kettle which sits upon the wood burning stove, the china that carried their tea in the morning, or the beautifully stitched lace shawl that hung prettily upon Miss Austen's shoulders. It was real and it was true. A life touched all these things.
We sit today, typing away on our keyboards, pouring our own creations into the online world, hoping in some small way that what we're doing is right. Is it enough? Are we enough? Is our writing good enough?
Miss Austen sat at her desk, quill in hand, crafting sentence after sentence and bringing to life the most glorious heroes and heroines known to romantic literature. Doesn't it show what can happen, when you make time to do the very thing you love, with a little self belief ?
I hope you find a way to keep doing what matters to you and makes you happy, even if you feel like giving up on those special things. Your heartfelt efforts will never go unnoticed. Time will find a way to preserve everything - your finger prints upon your own little space will last forever.