Yesterday, while browsing through the free books available on my Kindle, I was delighted to see that one of my two favorite non-fiction books, a book that started me on a journey of contentment, is free right now!
I was searching through Just Pure Lovely to see if I'd written anything on the book, Calm My Anxious Heart, and found the below, written in 2008. It only mentions a quote from the book, but I'd still love to repost it again, as the post below was a great reminder to me!
The other day, my man surfed the internet for homes and land across America. He found something far away that sounded fabulous, read the description, and we said, "Oh, that would be great," then he found another even farther away and it sounded so very nice, too, and we said, "Oh, that would be great," and so on. We did this for quite a while. We do this often.
As he read yet another description of an even more fabulous place, I thought, why are we never happy where we are?
Two women looked through prison bars.
One saw mud, the other saw stars.*
Our area has mostly flat land. There are no mountains and very few hills from which to view anything. The forests are full of tangly vines (think kudzu) and gnarled branches, making them nearly impassible. There is a very thin 1/4" of topsoil, meaning we're really just living on sand, and gardening is tough. We have very humid, very hot summers. The sun is hot here. Very hot. And we have hurricanes. Or at least the threat of them. Some people complain of a lack of seasons. There is no snow, that's for sure. We have the dreaded fireants in every yard. They hurt. Oh, and we have cockroaches. Not the invading-the-house kind, but the come-into-the-house-occasionally kind that scare you crazy because they are 2-3 inches long. And some fly.
Sigh, our beaches: pure white sand, emerald waters. Close proximity to those beaches might mean an occasional hurricane, but it – and the flat land – means we get sea breezes miles inland. Lemons, bananas, and oranges grow well in sandy soil. Our gardens produce year round, with enough soil ammendments. We have birds year round, too, the prettiest during winter. Winter? Yes, we have our winter, which is cool, not cold. The sun shines almost every day, through blue skies. We have miles upon miles of bayous, creeks, rivers, inlets, lagoons, bays and gulf to explore. Much of the area is preserved, so there are nature trails and forests and beach preserves in all directions.
I didn't even get around to mentioning the people or the cities, but I could do the mud and stars on both of those subjects, too. Do you get what I mean? It's all perspective.
Thinking all this over, I finally said to my man, "What if. What if we could find a place in a tiny town on a bay with streets decorated in flowers, within a half hour of the beach, and nestled between two mid-sized American cities with their arts and cultural centers and deep history? What if the area's shopping and entertainment options were great, yet it also has lots of nature preserves? What if the weather was mild and we could garden all year? Oh! And what if the house was not fancy, but comfortable enough, and situated on a river?!"
He sent me his smirk. The one that makes me giggle. But I knew he got it. I was describing home (and its stars).
*from Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. If you want it, get it while it's free…they often change those freebies overnight. You don't need a Kindle to read it; you can just use the free Kindle for the PC.