Finding Joy In Your Own Backyard

Fave Chicken Pic

If you have been reading here for any length of time you know my fixation with the word and, as well as the logogram the ampersand. I believe there is always more. And the more I consider why I love and, the more the nuances of the word bubble up. And meet me in the understanding of why. And is a connector. And I am connected to my world via people. (This week alone, I have had rich encounters with friends and writers. Writers and friends.) And via this space I call home.

I can stay and go. Travel and remain. Fly and remain grounded. Be still and know. That what is right here is rich and full of promise. That the soil is dark and full of gifts, right below my pink toes and my bare feet.

I love the idea, both figuratively and literally, of finding joy close to home. Of curating a life from which we don’t need to take a vacation. Of being increasingly at peace in the little space within our arm’s reach. Settling in and extracting peace in the place we call home. I cannot count my spaces. Not here and now. There have been many. My passion for renovating and decorating and for change has carried me, along with my husband and children, on a journey of transforming spaces into homes. The rewards have been grand. The homes have provided us with an anchor for living and loving.

My closest confidante knows my old wrestlings. And my new ones. She knows my achilles heel. And my wounds, my scars and my heart cries. God knows them well too. The older version of me longed to travel. And I got up and went. But now, my life is stationary. But not stagnant.

It if rife with discovery. Teeming with beauty and delight.  But it is a journey of staying within a wonderful radius. One tightly drawn close to home.

I have been many places in my life. I travel in place to recall. I reach back in my diaries, my remembering places, my trunk of letters and memories and into the faded photographs which tell stories of Paris and New York. I revisit. Reach back. And go to the place again. Of the countryside of France where I was a nanny for a small sliver of time. To Athens and Alaska. To St. Andrews and Florence. To Lake Cuomo and Tuscany.

There is reward in the revisiting. Memory feeds my dimming desire to go to a place which is not here.

But when I see the Magnolia blossom the size of my head, on the tree beside my home and across the street and by the Deerhead Tree, I have unearthed treasures in the nearby. When I step through my neighborhood, padding around, I see marvelous wonder in the warm eggs from my neighbor’s hens. A trip to my garden, early in the morning, as my rooster crows, is my own living breathing “Alice in Wonderland”.

And it is all I need. To live out this circuitous journey of discovering joy in my own backyard. I am far from here. I am in a land of unwrapping the spaces under me. Below me, beside me and around me. Be Still and Know.

There is so much more here and there than I first believed.

3 thoughts on “Finding Joy In Your Own Backyard

  1. Elizabeth, I think the older we get (ahem) the more we relish in the beauties and joys of those simple things right where we are…. it’s the life journey that gets us there, I think. You know, all that wisdom 🙂
    Beauty is a frame of mind and a way of seeing–thank you for letting us see yours!

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