Kristy and I shared our lives together between 2017-18 when I was part of the Newbold House community. We kept in touch after I moved abroad as well. Kristy was able to see the truth in myself even through layers upon layers of my trauma, and she accepted me, but she also offered tales from her own life as part of her wisdom. She was, for me, a Wise Woman. Perhaps, even better, a Wild Woman. An Enchantress.
If you were sick, she would offer remedy from the garden which she knew so well. One of my fondest memories of Kristy is of her walking into Newbold House with one of her hand-woven willow baskets, with a couple of pretty full mooncups resting inside it. The blood was for the garden, as she was wholly embracing of the woman-nature connection.
But things didn’t quite go to plan when she accidentally knocked the basket in the back office! Kristy, Blue and I laughed very hard as it was quite obvious the stain would not come out, but it had the powerful effect of keeping all the men at Newbold out of that room for a while. Kristy laughed quite mischievously about that!
When my partner and I decided to handfast, I turned to Kristy for help and support. She gifted to me one of her most beautiful skirts to wear, and she made me a crown of garden foliage. At the end, she read to us a beautiful love poem (I’m sorry for the quality of the photo below). Her words were the last of the day and they were the very best send-off.
Kristy was one of few members at Newbold trying to keep the rituals and spirit of *community* alive when others were trying to steer the house away from this. She was right to do so. Hers was one of the central beating hearts of the house. She had a great sense of humour during morning attunement which would often put me in a good mood for the whole rest of the day. Honestly, she had this gift - she could open to you something about the world, about living, that you had never noticed before, and it would be so beautiful your heart would just dance to be shown it. I was fortunate that she showed me many things.
There was a twelve year difference between Kristy and me, and she, I think consciously, took me under her wing as an older, wiser, woman at a time when so much was rapidly changing in my life. Sometimes she openly, but gently, told me when I was getting it wrong. She was right about those times, too, and I was very grateful to have her showing me that. She taught me how to navigate these changes with *grace*.
The last time I heard from Kristy, she was inviting me to live with her, if ever I returned to Scotland, and wanted a friend. Generosity is what she knew.
Every member of staff at Newbold had to write a brief biography about themselves for the Trust’s website. The words Kristy wrote were “dabbler of many, master of none”. There is so much wisdom in that philosophy.
i actually think she *was* master of living, particularly living as a Wild Woman, and I feel so much privilege to have witnessed that. I will definitely tell my daughter about my good friend Kristy, when she is older.
PS - I’ve just remembered the very first words we exchanged when Kristy and I met.
Kristy - I’m sorry, I might be a bit off today. I’m grieving. Me - Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Kristy - Yes. It was a lovely sheep.