Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Country Living

Back in 1983, Tom and I chose our building lot based on two things. Number one, thinking ahead to mad dashes to church and Early Morning Seminary, we told the realtor we needed to live within five minutes of the LDS chapel. And secondly, when we walked to the top of the knoll, we saw a small hard of deer standing in the back field. Sold!

So we live on a five acre tract of heaven on a quiet little street in a small Maryland town that resembles Mayberry. (No, this isn't a photo of my back yard, but I liked the bridge.) We love it here. In fifty minutes or so, depending on traffic, we can be downtown at Baltimore's lively Inner Harbor for a catch-of-the-day seafood supper, or we can head to historical treasures like Washington or Arlington or Alexandria, Virginia. Within that same hour, if we turn our attentions north, we can stand where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address or with a slight tilt to the west we can visit the site of the bloodiest single conflict in the Civil War--Antietam. Tilting east and offering an additional thirty minutes travel time, we can reach historic Philadelphia and sit in Christ Church where Washington, Franklin, and other Founders worshipped, and see Constitution Hall where our liberties were framed.

People fly around the earth to see what I can take in in an afternoon. And I love all these places and revere them as hallowed ground. My soul can physically feel something sacred there.

There is another place that I also love. I visit it nearly as infrequently as these other places for pleasure, though I spend substantial amounts of time there laboring over it--our beautiful back yard. It's not professionally manicured like some places, but we've toiled to make it our little spot of heaven--flower beds, decking, a pool and even an arched bridge my daughter requested from her dad so she could stand there on her wedding day and have her picture taken. We mow and weed and repair and plant and sweat and ache until we are too tied to . . . to just sit . . . and relax.

I've thought about that a lot recently. I spend dozens of hours a week cooped up in my office peering out at the world through a tiny window, when all that beauty is just a few steps further away. Perhaps a little less weeding and a little more sitting would be all right. Unless of course, I fretted about the undone work until I squandered my peace away.

Sitting and staring at beauty is also sacred sometimes. I need to enjoy a few more hours of summer's beauty. Fall will come and bring her hush to the work. I love fall for that reason, and winter too, who calls the world to hibernate just so we can sit and rest. Spring will burst upon us soon enough, calling for the start of mowers' engines and coaxing weeds where I forbade them the previous year. So for now I will try and sit and savor summer, and then, we'll rest.


  1. Why do you think we all loving coming home so much?!?! It's my favorite place in the world - as long as Nick's there with me!

  2. That really makes me miss MD! You all do have a beautiful place there.