My dear friend is considering buying a larger home. I have encouraged her for years to do so, but the perfect one has never presented itself so she stays put in her simple “paid for” house. How many of us can say those words in a lifetime? I’m proud of her for her determination and example that living a good life doesn’t have to mean being in debt up to your ears. That having been said, there is also something to be said for opening your eyes in the mornings and loving what you see.
We missed living in the country several years ago when we moved to a larger home. I loved the house immediately and felt a strong conviction that it would be the ideal place to raise our family. At that time we had three children and since we have added a precious boy to the mix. The acreage will no doubt be a companion to a curious little man and all his future explorations.
A home large enough to house the six of us that offers privacy and room to run outdoors has been a blessing to us all. Jimmy will argue at times but I believe he secretly likes it, too. The home has some architectural oddities, too many walls, and the layout of the main floor is weird but I have grown to appreciate it.
Dare I say even love.
It’s cozy and I can see the seasons change gloriously around me. There are no buildings, businesses or traffic obstructing my view of nature from any direction, and there I find peace.
Inside, I find the joy of children’s toys and drawings on the fridge, sometimes the noises of arguing and fighting but mostly of laughter. On occasion a roaring fire and if I squint past the toys and kids, I get a glimpse of a quaint French country farmhouse.
I think maybe four pieces of furniture we own were purchased new as one of my favorite pastimes is finding treasures at antiques and flea markets. I have an admiration of objects with a story to tell. I like to imagine my things as having lived happily, seeing a family grow from a previous generation now re-purposed and looking over my family.
So, my surroundings while I try my best to keep simple and peaceful, are things that are of value to me. Things that while not especially expensive or beautiful to anyone else, bring me joy and make this house feel like home.
My advice to my friend considering her move you might wonder? I said, “Life is so short, as we are learning through some harsh realities as years go on. I say live it where you feel beauty and joy. Be happy, find a place that your spirit can sore and lift you up daily.”
After I gave this advice I realized it really doesn’t have to take a new home for that.
If you have love in your life your spirit can soar wherever you might be.
So a simple “paid for” cracker box, or a mansion or a van down by the river… if it is filled with the things and people you love, your surroundings have the power to take you higher and fill your days with memories that will last a lifetime.
I hope you can appreciate your surroundings today.
(Rhonda is a staff writer for The News-Dispatch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 451-3798.)