Ah, the birds are tweeting and doing their mating dances, my kitchen garden is beginning to sprout, the days are warm enough to have all the doors and windows wide open to fill the house with fresh air and warm sunshine.
Last year we won this house in a bid and had keys in hand by April 12th. We began cleaning, whacking at dead vines and branches, mowing years of weeds, and dealing with outdoor roach infestations. The yard had old locks and keys buried from the Banks failed attempts at keeping out squatters, broken glass, and other odd things. It was a sad, dead yard. We hung bird feeders and had no takers. We planted plenty of trees and geraniums. Some didn’t make it.
But after a long and wet winter, this year it is filled with lush life. The neighbor’s vines are sneaking over into our yard (which I love) and sharing their lovely springtime blossoms, all 11 fruit, nut, and citrus trees are rich with new growth and leaves. They all made it through the winter and will thrive from here on out. The roses and flowers are multiplying daily and the geraniums are now huge plants with hot pink and bright red pom poms. We have at least 20 different types of birds including the morning dove and an occasional hawk (maybe, that was what husband said) that steals one of our little birds. We have ladybugs and honey bees, fat black bumble bees, and the not so welcome squirrels and rodents. The yard is alive and full of life.
I love this house, I love my life. I almost canceled the buying of this cottage during the whole house inspection. The house was fine, but I was afraid. This was my last choice on the house, the town, and parts of the neighborhood didn’t give me much hope.
The neighborhood is very different now and still improving. I really enjoy my time at home as does my whole family.
Why are we so happy? Why am I so happy? Is it the house? Lots of money? Location? Dream job? Perfect life (whatever that is)? Fancy cars? big vacations at the Bahama’s?
Dream job yes. Cars are old and we have never had a vacation since we married…or before. The house is very small and, as I said, this was not my dream town. We are fortunate enough to live 35 miles from Grass Valley and Nevada City and go there every Friday. Money feels abundant to us but to others, it would be considered blue collar or working class living. And it is but I have learned to live like a millionaire on this small sum.
Recently I read a book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. It is one of many books and situations that have been transforming my life little by little. My internal life, that is.
It is a tale of a shepherd that has a dream under a Sycamore tree two nights in a row of a child leading him to treasure. In the dream, he is looking at the Egyptian Pyramids but he awakens before the child shows him where the treasure is. He goes on a long journey in search of this treasure and learns of the Soul of the World and Life Purpose. He learns of Beginners Luck, Omens, and that once you start you can’t go back. A Life Purpose not fulfilled makes for a broken and frustrated heart.
I truly believe my inner happiness comes from me living my Life Purpose every day. I wanted to be a housewife and mother more than any career, award, title, or accolade. I also wanted to be a writer. There are other creative wants as well but those will evolve in time, I’m sure.
When I spend my days sweeping my entire house, sitting outside under an umbrella in the garden reading a good book from the library, when I eavesdrop on my little boys and their conversations…I feel all is good. But I don’t just sweep or read or overhear chitty chat. I do simple work all day but it is done in luxurious ways.
I sweep with the windows and doors open so I can hear the thick song of many birds. I fold laundry and laugh at a silly movie. I think about book ideas as I suds up a pan of dishes or I read good books with my coffee in bed while holding a sleeping child or two before they wake. I write at my dining room table in front of a window that faces the sunrise every morning. I’ve learned to be present. Just like the shepherd in The Alchemist, I am learning the rhythm of life and how to just go with its patterns and seasons. And trust that the Universe is always conspiring to co-create my dream life.
I’ve also learned to not waste my time doing what I DON’T want to do or be with people I DON’T want to be with. I’m very social when out and about but I don’t make plans or commit to anything that isn’t going to be looked forward to. I spend time with friends I get excited about seeing and we do things we enjoy doing, like drives through the countryside on Sunday or exploring a new little town in the hills. Other than that we leave the schedule empty and life open for new opportunities.
Mostly, I just enjoy being home. I read a memoir of a housewife who told stories of how her grandmother ran her home. She stayed home all the time and would give the husband her grocery list. He would do the shopping and run the errands. This may seem imprisoning to be home all the time but lately, I have little desire to leave the house. I give Bali my library books and card and have him return read books and pick up our new books and I have him do the grocery shopping. I’m in heaven when I realized this was an option. People pay good money to have others run errands for them or deliver groceries.
The boys and I get out and about, but for leisurely walks in the neighborhood or the park. We go to the huge Hispanic store down the way and sometimes we bring the wagon to the library to fetch our own new pile of books just ordered. But we all have our own personal paradise here at home and spend hours immersed in activities we enjoy.
Our yard is not enormous or even large, our home is a cottage with one bathroom. But we have utilized all the space to fill it with hobbies and Life Purpose. I have my laptop, books, and garden. Bali has the whole back and front yard to create, the boys have the whole house and the side yard was created just for them but they are at an age where every part of the yard, garden, and home is ripe for the imagination. Even the dogs have beds indoors and outdoor lounge mats and lay with us in the shade or chase squirrels.
We have special events weekly. The dogs go to the river often. We all go to Nevada City on Fridays for Arjan’s Fox Walker class. He gets to see the new friends he has now and the rest of his family go to our favorite Briar Patch Coop to shop for organics and sip soy mochas and cocoas in the cafe. When the weather gets really warm we go hiking up there by the river.
For the first time in all my 40 some years, I am content. I have bigger wishes and dreams only because my heart leads me forward to greater things. But that is the fun of it. To dream and then work toward that dream. It’s like my sons’ planning and building out in the backyard, they have more fun in the thinking up a game and then doing the work to prepare and carry it out. The end result is not the fun part as you would think. It is the journey and holding the anticipation of receiving.
Where ever you are in life, the job, home, town, perhaps you are not so satisfied, know that all things are changeable. Know that you can and deserve to live your Life Purpose and it just takes some planning, doing, recreating, imagination, determination, blind faith, and heart. That’s all? You may say and laugh sarcastically…but remember when you were a child and all that planning and building was the best part. The dreaming and the voyage is the fun part. Trust that God and the Universe will meet you on that road and stay with you the whole time to help you get to this desired place.
In the meantime, find a way to enjoy that job, that home, this life right where you are. It’s the simple life that brings the richest pleasure.