She has a summer house at the end of her garden. It's where she meets her clients. It's where she meets me.
With this summer house thrown into the mix, there is no going back: this is it, this is the person I've been looking for, it is as simple as that. She and the summer house had me, so to speak, on 'hello'.
Inside the summer house happens to look and feel and even smell like my fantasy writing space. It is wooden, all wooden, and painted various neutral tones - but in shades which speak, somehow, of natural things: of grain, and oatmeal, and pebbles. There is a blanket thrown over a sofa arm, and a box of tissues placed casually on another. The ceiling rises to unpainted eaves and there is a tiny kitchen off the main, floorboarded room. The whole place smells of warm, dry wood.
You can arrive early, push open the garden gate, walk past the side of the house up the little square stone path set into the grass, to the summer house door. She will not be there until your time, but you may step inside and make the space your own in the ten minutes until she comes. You can make tea, or coffee; take a chocolate-coated biscuit from the glass jar; settle yourself on the sofa opposite the long windows with the venetian blinds, and watch, as I did today, the rain through the slats, and take a breath, take stock of the day, ready for your conversation.
Especially at this time of year the garden is lush, and green, and giving. The summer house is complementary to its setting. It neither hinders nor disturbs, but draws from its surroundings what the people who come here need. Often 'high functioning' people like myself, as she commented the first time we talked, but people who need to make a sense of where they are in their lives in order to move forward.
Because it is a dull day, she has lit the lamps before I arrive. It is marvellous, to step for a moment from the confusion into this clear, open, ready space. I bless the day my search happed upon her website. I know that there is important work to be done in this room. There is rightness in my finding myself here, and though I could despair that yet again, in the second half of my forties, I find the need to find a stranger to talk to once again, I do not. How can I? I'm sitting in the space I want to create in my own life, for different purposes but no less life-changing.
I hear a click as she emerges from the side of the house. I watch her slim, serious form move across the garden towards me through the rain.