It rained last night. I love the rain. It weds things together a little into a dream landscape. The separateness and distinction that stands out in the sunshine is a little diminished in the rain. “She walks in beauty like the night.” The rain is like the night.
You have been very patient with me finding my way here day by day. Some of you have expressed a wish to know more of why I chose to leave Innermost House. Others have inquired privately. It is natural to wish to know. I have many times wondered myself.
My life is a mystery to me. I sometimes feel like a player on a stage who is given a life to live and lines to speak in a world I cannot understand. I will try to speak as plainly as I can.
Seven years ago we built a house at the invitation of a man who had turned to my husband as a mentor for many years. We had only just come to the fateful end of a long search that completely changed our life.
Our friend was an unmarried man then on the threshold of retirement from business. He recognized that what he had always admired in my husband had ripened into something he most aspired to. He offered us all he had—a retreat property, a house, himself and his friends to teach.
We were offered other places. After a year more of seclusion we decided to accept an invitation to return to live permanently in France. When I telephoned our old friend, he pleaded with us to come to him instead.
I chose to accept his request. We moved onto the land and built Innermost House. We expected to live there for the rest of our life. It was to be a retreat for those who would come to renew their souls.
But by then our friend had married a younger woman. Soon he resumed his career on a scale unlike any he had ever known to support the enlarging desires of his new family.
Then the retreat property was sold. We were urged to move and live with them, but everything had changed.
Others saw it before I did. Powerful guests who had become devoted to the Conversation were concerned. They feared for all the Conversation had come to mean to them.
People are right to pursue their own destinies. But not all destinies are to be reconciled. It became clear that we were moving in opposite directions. There was no room there for the Conversation to breathe. When at last I saw that I must choose, I chose not to live with his family. He had chosen another life.
The family who purchased the Innermost House land welcomed us back to live in the house again as their guests. But the property was a retreat no longer.
Three years passed while our original partner sought a way to reunite us, but it finally became clear that would never be possible.
I felt we could no longer accept the unreserved hospitality of our new friends. If I could have taken Innermost House with me I would have. But the house was part of the woods and could not be moved. So I took the seed from which it was first grown, the soul of the Conversation, and left to seek another woods to begin again.
I can no longer distinguish between good fortune and bad. I only know that every time that soul at the heart of my married life has needed to move and change, it has found a way. Were I still at rest in my house I would not know you now.
I chose to go to those woods. I chose to leave. This morning the world lies open to a blue sky. And I find I can love that too, however I may love the woods and the night and the rain.